Open-air cinema with Urban Entertainment – The festival edition

What do some of the world’s biggest and best festivals have in common?

Open-air cinema, of course. From documentary festivals to family focused events, they’ve all used the magic of open-air cinema as an extra entertainment feature.

Even the mother of all festivals, Glastonbury in Somerset, features a cinema tent each summer for visitors to enjoy.

Let’s lift the curtain and take a look at the many benefits of adding outdoor cinema hire to your upcoming celebration.

Open-air cinema is a welcome break

Let’s be real with each other. Festivals are an amazing experience – but they are also hard work.

One of the main benefits of introducing open-air cinema areas at festivals is the opportunity for attendees to unwind and rest their weary feet. There they can take a complete break from the main event’s frenzied, crowded atmosphere, without having to go home.

After a long day of dancing, socialising, and exploring, relaxing with a movie under the stars can be a welcome respite. It can also be an opportunity to re-energise for the next stage of the festival fun.

Additionally, outdoor cinemas provide a space for festival-goers to connect with one another in a more relaxed setting.
Sharing a movie experience with strangers can be a great way to break down barriers and create new connections.

And even if you only talk to the people you know, this may be the best quality time you get together for the whole of the festival. A chance to reflect on the event so far and depending on the film shown, discover something new.

Continue the festival theme with open-air cinema

Many festivals choose curate a selection of films that align with the festival’s theme or atmosphere.

For example, a music festival might feature music documentaries or films about iconic musicians. A food festival could showcase films about chefs or even interactive cook-a-long videos with ingredient stations.

By taking this approach, the festival organisers are able to enhance the overall festival experience and offer attendees a diverse range of activities. At the same time, they can retain the main theme of the event.

crowd of people in front of an outdoor cinema screen at Docfest

How we’ve taken outdoor cinema hire to festivals

We relish the challenge of a festival here at Urban Entertainment! And we have worked on some brilliant ones over the years, including:

  • The Atomic Festival. Dedicated to all things 1950s, this festival based in Northampton is absolutely incredible. We provided a drive in cinema showcasing classic 1950s films but you can also expect everything from 1950s cars to vintage retailers and hot air balloons.
  • Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. This is a real celebration of the outdoors scene in Sheffield featuring a packed programme of documentaries and films. In Sheffield, we’ve also worked on Sensoria, a celebration of film and music and the internationally renowned Sheffield Doc:Fest. At one point we even set up a screen in the famous amphitheatre behind the city’s railway station.
  • Family festivals. We cater for all kinds of events here at Urban, and can supply nano screens for family focused events.  Our future events include a child-friendly festival which is coming up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in summer 2023. More details will be released here as we get it.

Part of the enduring appeal of open air cinema is its flexibility. And we’ve been lucky enough to host outdoor cinema hire events on beaches, in parks and on rooftops, so it will fit right in with any kind of festival.

The challenges of outdoor cinema at festivals

Outdoor cinemas at festivals do come with their very own challenges.

One of the main considerations organisers have is the unpredictability of the weather – especially here in the UK. While many festivals take place during the summer months, outdoor cinemas are at the mercy of the elements.

Rain, wind, and even extreme heat when it comes to events around the world can all impact the comfort and safety of festival-goers during a movie screening.
To combat this, some festivals provide sheltered seating areas or go the whole hog with a cinema tent. Many also offer blankets and other comforting items for attendees.

Another challenge of featuring an open-air cinema at a festival is the technical setup required to run an outdoor cinema. Outdoor cinemas require special equipment such as projectors, screens, and sound systems.

This equipment must be able to withstand outdoor conditions and be set up and taken down quickly and efficiently. Additionally, festival organisers must ensure that they have obtained the necessary licenses and permissions to screen movies in a public setting.

Happily, our experts can help you with all of the setup and technicalities. We have years of experience in the outdoor cinema industry, dating right back to 2011.

As well as knowing that you have the highest quality screen and audio solutions, you will also get every single piece of equipment which is needed to host an event. Not only that, but we manage the site with our team of fully trained, highly experienced technicians.

Save yourself hours of paperwork and subsequent headaches by allowing us to source the licensing for your chosen films.

Did you know that the range of cinematic treats Urban can offer spans screen classics, cult and even brand new cinema released movies?  You just let us know what you want to show. We will sort the rest.

Call in the open-air cinema experts

Our team is proud to be one step ahead of our competitors as an outdoor cinema hire company. We do this by ensuring we have the very latest technology to offer. Urban is also committed to continually evolving within this ever-changing industry.

We offer a wide range of cinema screen sizes and would love to discuss event requirements with your festival team.