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Music Festival Restart Ticketing.

Andy Robertson

After the recent announcement from the UK government that music festivals could resume from late June this year there has been a flurry of activity in the sector. Festival organisers with great preparation plans have been able to reactivate activities quickly with timely announcements and ticketing information. 


There are still many music festival organisers in the UK with tentative dates for late summer who are yet to make any announcements. Perhaps having put their event teams on furlough and suspended all activity it will take some time to reactivate their plans. It would be safe to assume that the event logistics are already in place but need to be reactivated however one of the biggest challenges will be to get the ticketing organised. 

In 2020 as most music festivals were cancelled ticket buyers were asked to transfer their tickets to 2021 (or beyond in some cases). Whilst many event goers did choose this route there will also be a substantial number that requested refunds leaving possibly thousands available for purchase. Whatever ticketing platform used by organisers this will surely be a testing time for that ticketing system. Making 10,000 tickets available and announcing this can lead to unprecedented demand that will test the robustness of any ticketing system used. The potential internet traffic volumes can push the ticketing system to breaking point. 

Prior to announcing any new tranche of tickets, the organisers should ensure that their back-office systems are ready for the influx of payments along with a higher volume of customer support tasks. Is there a team in place ready to handle enquiries from customers about ticket payment issues that could come in the form of emails or calls? Is there a facility for ticket buyers to resell their tickets to other event goers? This can be an effective technology solution to alleviate incoming customer queries.

When announcing new ticket availability, it makes sense to spread the workload by releasing tickets in blocks or tranches which will avoid too much panic buying and eases the potential workload for the organisers back-office systems. However a music festival organiser decides to relaunch ticket sales in conjunction with a confirmed festival date it makes sense to have a well thought out back-up plan for every eventuality rather than rushing into and announcement of a confirmed date and ticket availability. Any press release announcement should clearly state what tickets are available and when. It is likely that it's been some time since any of the events team have done any support for ticket buyer customer support so it would be prudent to fully test the ticketing system and implement training along with processes and procedures to handle anticipated volumes. 

For any music festival
organiser planning to get their event live this summer using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their music festival ticketing. 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 Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Andy Robertson
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