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Get Flexible with Event Scheduling for 2021.

Andy Robertson

With COVID-19 infections still breaking out in seemingly random places there is knock on effect on the scheduling of dates for live music events. Planned live events therefore face uncertainty on whether or not they can go ahead as planned. Event organisers need to build in flexibility to all their schedules to prevent incurring unnecessary costs. 


Almost all live music events and festivals since March this year (2020) have been cancelled and only a handful have managed to take place operating within strict restrictions on audience numbers and social distancing among other factors. For 2021 event organisers are trying to stick with their published dates but there are still concerns over what the pandemic situation will look like in 6 to 12 months' time.

The knock-on effect on event organisers has huge implications, once a date is fixed the logistical operations around stage construction, equipment hire, vendor attendance and artist appearances need to be confirmed so that plans can be made. How is this possible when dates are still provisional? With careful planning and scheduling event organisers can build in flexibility with suppliers and artists so that should dates change a revised plan can rapidly be implemented.

Scheduling will be tight in many cases and rather than the traditional event build-up of several weeks the timing may be squeezed significantly to a few days. This is why now is a good time to start thinking about how to build a flexible plan by establishing realistic timescales with suppliers, vendors and artists to enable a change of date. Running different scenarios can help understand this further, imagine a surge in infections close to the venue a week before the confirmed date and the likely ensuing lockdown. How effective is the planning to enable a change in date or venue? Have communication channels been set up to mobilise suppliers and artists to a date or venue change? Also of course not forgetting the event goers who need to be informed quickly of any likely changes.

Performance artists may be booked for a series of events or festivals and therefore it’s possible they cannot make a date or venue change. What contingency plans are there for booking alternative artists and has availability been checked beforehand? It goes without saying that in these unprecedented times of uncertainty event organisers need to spend more time on planning and creating contingency plans. Negotiations on costs from suppliers needs to take into account the added requirement for flexibility because changing dates and venues can potentially mean rising costs. Using good logistics and event planning software can really help in forward planning for live music events and festivals that have been scheduled to take place next year.

A live music and festival event specific software management platform like FestivalPro can help event organisers manage their schedules and planning along with communication channels to third parties. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and now has built in dynamic calendars and schedules enabling event organisers to add, delete or move and alter artist sets with a simple drag and drop interface.   

Photo by Thibault Trillet from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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