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Adding New Music Festival Editions.

Andy Robertson

Successful music festivals can sometimes be limited in the way they expand their business because of the physical site location or other factors that limit dates. If a music festival has a strong brand and built a solid reputation and following it may be time to consider expanding that brand to new editions of the music festival. 

Some of the biggest and most well-known music festivals often expand their music festival format and name to additional locations or countries, even hosting summer and winter editions. For an ambitious music festival organiser keen on expansion by using new editions what are the key factors to consider along with any associated advantages and disadvantages?

Start Small. 
It can be incredibly risky to jump straight into creating a new edition of a music festival in an alternative country. It makes sense to start with a smaller scale new edition within the same country. Numerous music festival in the UK have successfully developed a ‘North’ and ‘South’ edition running on different dates. To reduce risks even further perhaps consider a small-scale winter or autumn edition that can utilise the same venue or festival site.

Expanding Overseas. 
Creating a new festival edition in a completely different country can be a huge challenge as the laws and regulations relating to live music events may be very different. It is probably wise to travel to that country and forge relationships with local festival producers and promoters in the new country and seek their assistance in running logistics and marketing.

There can be huge benefits and advantages in having extra editions of a well branded music festival particularly in economies of scale. It may be possible to negotiate better deals with contractors due to the increased work and staff can be spread across multiple events. Curating artist talent should also be made easier because organisers are likely negotiating one contract to cover multiple editions. Should one event unfortunately get cancelled (coronavirus being a prime example) the artists and ticket buyers can be pushed to the remaining event edition assuming capacity allows for it. Having multiple editions is also going to help expand the festival’s brand and following outside of the existing festival boundaries.

Creating a new edition of an existing festival is likely going to involve some considerable investment so organisers should have deep pockets or have strong relationships with potential investors or partners. If a new edition is set up in another country there could be issues with travel and visa requirements for staff, contractors and artists that creates an additional layer of administration. Of course, the festival logistics will be more complex and need additional planning resources but if the organisers have good processes and systems in place already this should be able to be scaled up.

There have been some very successful new editions of music festivals that enabled the organisers to expand their brand to new locations or seasons. However, for the unprepared festival organiser there are also plenty of examples of failed new editions. Organisers should do appropriate research and due diligence when considering this route to expansion to mitigate potential failure and achieve success.

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 stokpic from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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