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Developing a Niche Music Festival Format.

Andy Robertson

The variety of music festivals available to attend around the world is huge with most countries having a wide selection for festival-goers to choose from. Traditionally the most popular music festivals follow a set format of mixed genre artists performing on stages set up in remote fields spread over three or four days.  


How can music festival founders and organisers differentiate their music festival from the plethora of events currently available? Most niche music festivals define themselves by selecting specific music genres be it EDM, Rock, Jazz or Folk for example however there now many events to choose from even within each genre specific festival. Organisers can try going one step further by perhaps altering the format of their festival to appeal to a specific audience and become a leader of that festival format.

Alternative Music Festival Formats. 
There has been a slow but steady growth in the cruise ship festival format and is most prevalent in the United States which has a thriving festival cruise sector. It has spread to other parts of the world but is perhaps a high-risk strategy given the large investment required to secure a suitable ship with no guarantee that revenues will provide any return on investment. The recent development of the niche format has been the socially distanced festival with ‘The Estate Festival’ leading by example and capitalising on the current restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic. The organisers of ‘The Estate Festival’ have created an exclusive VIP music festival with festival-goers being allocated their very own seating area and private camping facilities. For music festival organisers that want to get away from the remote field location they can consider running a multi venue format within a city served by a good selection of venues. The organisation of a multi venue format festival can be more challenging but organisers will no doubt benefit from existing infrastructure and services within the selected city. 

Planning a New Format Music Festival.
Organisers that have great creative ideas for a new niche festival format or are considering changing formats will need to perform some thorough planning. Key to this planning process will be consideration of the associated costs and potential revenue, each will need to be assessed to see if an idea is worth pursuing. In addition, organisers should research the potential demand and identify the ideal customer profile and then decide if there is likely to be sufficient demand. If a new niche format festival looks like a promising prospect and the potential financial returns are positive it may be worth testing a new format music festival on a small scale to assess its viability.

The great thing about the music festival sector is the amount of creativity that exists and of course there are going to be more niche format festivals in the future. Currently nobody knows what will emerge as the latest and greatest niche festival format in the years to come.

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. 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. 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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