IT might seem that everyone wants to put on a festival, with a growing number of independent events said to have contributed more than £1billion to the UK economy from 2014-17.

But running festivals can be a risky business.

Many thousands have watched Fyre, the Netflix documentary about the failed Fyre Festival planned for a private island.

In Dorset, Bestival went in and out of administration and is not expected to take place this year (although its sister event Camp Bestival is). The organiser of Upton House Music Festival and a planned open-air Olly Murs gig went into administration owing almost £900,000.

A book, co-authored by a Dorset man with 40 years of experience, aims to guide people through organising a festival.

Paul Kelly moved to Poole 10 years ago from Plymouth, where he staged festivals for the 1999 solar eclipse, the millennium and the Queen’s jubilee celebrations.

“It’s very risky,” he said.

“It’s not for the faint hearted but on the other hand they do reach a large number of people. “

He organised the first Westbourne Book Binge last year. “It was very modest but the people who attended loved it and we’re going to build from that,” he said.

“Most people look up to the big rock festivals as their models but you’re talking about substantial amounts of money for artists who will charge you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, for that. And there’s the complexity of green field sites where you have to bring everything in.”

Mr Kelly was course leader on the arts and event management degree at Arts University Bournemouth. Since then, he has programmed the 2016 Bournemouth Jazz Festival, joined the Stompin’ On the Quomps team in Christchurch and staged the Parry 100 Festival at St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth. He has recently become chair of Swanage Jazz Festival and is arts and fundraising consultant to St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth.

Principles of Festival Management is a 300-page guide to developing and running a festival, from inception to post-event evaluation. It is aimed at aspiring festival managers, event management students and practitioners early in their careers.

Mr Kelly was asked to join lecturers at De Montfort University, Leicester, who had already published two academic studies on festivals.

“I was expecting to write just a couple of chapters but I ended up writing six of the 11 chapters, including those on festival design and programming, funding, budgeting and planning, logistics and management,” he said.

The guide also covers the importance of digital – from marketing the event to making sure there is the mobile data for thousands to share their festival experience on social media.

“All of us are really pleased with the end product. I wish I’d had something like this to hand when I started out,” said Mr Kelly.

Festival organisers need to realise that many events do not turn a profit in the first three years, he said.

He said his key piece of advice was to know your audience. “Be clear on what your aims are and why you are doing it. A lot of people go into festivals with no clear reason as to why they’re doing it and haven’t through it through,” he said.

“There have been some very successful festivals that have folded.”

Principles of Festival Management by Chris Newbold, Jennie Jordan, Paul Kelly and Kristy Diaz costs £34.99 from Goodfellow Publishers. Chapters are available for download for £7.19 each from