I can’t stress enough that I understand how difficult it is to put on a big beer event. I’ve done small ones, so I wouldn’t even want to think about what it takes to put on the big ones. So, please, just think of this list as constructive criticism.  With festival season upon us, here are a few things that no beer festival organizer should forget:

Beer Festival Organizer Commandments

1. Make it easy to find beer.
Clear easy signage is the easiest way for people to find the beer they’re looking for.  If at all possible please hang them above the beer’s location. ***

2. Provide plenty of food and water.
More access to (cheap) food and (free) water would hopefully mean people who are slightly less drunk.

3. Be ready for the weather.
Regardless of what most people might think, the five-day forecast is pretty accurate. While five days isn’t a lot of time, it’s still enough time to maybe make some plans in case of inclement or unseasonable weather.

4. Don’t allow smoking under the tents.
I know it’s technically “outdoors” but that tent will still trap the smoke a bit. I’m trying to enjoy the aroma of my beer, not the aroma of that hipster’s Parliaments.

5. Provide plenty of space.
If people are constantly bumping up against each other or there isn’t any way to get to the beer, there isn’t enough space. Which may also bring us to:

6. Don’t Oversell.
While we’ve been absolutely spoiled with cheap prices on beer festival tickets here in St. Louis. Maybe it’s time to slightly raise the price and sell slightly fewer tickets? This might make for a more pleasant festival.

7. Have signage asking people to move away from the taps.
If we have fewer people, we may have fewer people just standing around the taps. But if that doesn’t keep people away, a friendly sign asking people to move back would be nice.

8. Think you have enough porta-potties? Add three to five more.
You’re feeding us a lot of beer and a lot of water. If you want to limit the amount of people who are publicly urinating, please give us some more porta-potties

9. Music should add to an event, not detract.
Maybe I’m just too old, but it’s usually too loud. I’m at a beer festival, not a rock concert, so please ask them to keep it at an appropriate level.

10. Keep everyone safe.
While I haven’t seen this often, lots of free beer and machismo can certainly lead to altercations.  Please make sure to have security watching out for everyone.

***For the folks at Schlafly, please don’t take this as a shot at the lack of signage at the Repeal of Prohibition Festival, I know that high winds prevented you from putting up the signs as you normally do.  You guys run some great festivals and you’re rarely, if ever, guilty of the problems on this list.