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The Performance Artist’s Music Festival Gambit in 2021.

Andy Robertson

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge detrimental effect on professional musicians around the world. Some have survived with live streaming performances perhaps combined with the creation of new material but now there are opportunities for artists to get back to performing live at music festivals again.  


Live audience performances have been banned globally for over a year and now selected countries are opening up and allowing live performances again. This is important for performance artists because live shows are often the main source of their revenue since material released for consumption is commonly given away. 

With COVID-19 infections still rampant in many countries and travel restrictions common place it’s a determined artist that will confirm a music festival performance in another country. However, given the state of their likely financial circumstances this is a gamble they are seemingly prepared to take. This makes sense when many artists are still nervous about travel or fear of infection from COVID-19 even if they’ve received a vaccine. This does present opportunities for artists prepared to accept the risks from infection and complex travel restrictions. Investing the time and expense of going through the travel documentation rigmarole and possible quarantine is something worth doing because the potential benefits could be huge. 

Music festival organisers have had to rearrange line-ups and curate new performance artists at short notice. Many artists are still unwilling to travel or perform live considering it too risky, this is great for artists that are prepared to travel and expose themselves to possible infection and is good news for up-and-coming talent or artists that have perhaps faded away in recent years. Festival organisers are keen to secure new and well-known performance artists as soon as they fix their dates. This is important because ticket buyers want to know the headliners and line-up in good time without having to wait.

Performance artists taking the gamble to get on a music festival line-up should benefit from increased exposure leading to higher demand in the future. There has been a trend recently of even smaller and new music festivals securing well-known artists and headliners as numerous large music festivals remain cancelled in 2021 for a variety of reasons. There are great opportunities for small independent and new music festivals along with the headline artists they can secure because the festival-goer demand is still high. Taking the risks to go ahead with a festival in 2021 is an opportunity to gain customers and artists form cancelled festivals resulting in a ‘land grab’ situation. The large festivals returning in 2022 will no doubt retain their large customer base and ability to secure top artists but the share of festival-goer revenue will be shared amongst more festivals. 

For any event organiser planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics including artist management. 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.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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