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Music Festival Employment Opportunities 2021.

Andy Robertson

As the music festival industry took a big financial hit during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic with most events cancelled and full-time staff laid off. The industry is slowly trying to come back but the employment landscape has changed for those either working for, or keen to start a career in, the music festival sector.

The number of full-time staff that work for music festival organising entities is generally small, primarily because of the seasonal nature of a big one-off event and most job roles are temporary with many tasks being handled by volunteers. For the small organising teams that work full time they have shifted to working remotely with virtual meetings and team collaboration using online software tools.

The industry may have lost some key experienced workers too as they sought alternative employment during 2020 and some will not want to return to an industry that is still experiencing volatility. This does open up opportunities for people that want to start a career working in festival event organising teams although any vacancies will always be sought after and the opportunities to start at ground level remain few and far between. There are however new emerging roles that the music festival sector will be looking to fill this year and in the future. 

Numerous music festivals are now recruiting people for COVID-19 monitoring and stewarding roles, some tasks can be done by volunteers but most organisers are looking for key people to manage new protocols. Festival organisers are particularly interested in those with experience in implementing health and safety protocols and managing teams.

The other growth area in music festival employment is for waste and recycling management as sustainability credentials move more into focus. Organisers are pushing their sustainability credentials more into the public eye as the topic has attracted increased media coverage during the last two years. Opportunities exist for those with specific knowledge about recycling logistics along with alternative power sources and the reporting that is required in relation to the festival’s public image.

These two areas of employment growth in the music festival sector are not really for early career candidates and organisers are going to be seeking people with substantial experience in health and safety logistics (specific to COVID-19 protocol implementation) and sustainability. For those interested in these two areas of employment with no experience they can still look for employment opportunities but this is likely to be as temporary unpaid volunteers. Working as a volunteer within these specific functions will certainly provide an insight on whether or not this is a career worth pursuing. Volunteering also provides opportunities to network with the right people and influencers working for festival organising teams which can be a shrewd career move. 

For any event organiser planning their 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.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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