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Performance Artist Curated Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

In an effort to increase exposure numerous performance artists have taken to the creation of their own music festivals. There may be other numerous reasons for the motivation in taking this route but certainly there are many successfully run music festivals created by performance artists but what are the challenges in pursuing this route? 

For some performance artists particularly at the later stages of their careers securing live sets at major music festivals can be problematic as many festivals focus on artists that are up and coming or currently very popular. In addition, as bands and artists mature, they are less inclined to be on the road touring or doing the festival circuit. This prompts many to create their own music festivals where they get to play at a venue of their choice to an established fan base. Artists that have been around for some time have enormous experience of the festival scene and have an opportunity to implement the best aspects and of their festival experiences.  

The artist run festival will often be located in their hometown or somewhere local where the infrastructure is known and local contacts can assist in facilitation of any requirements regarding licensing and related permissions. Staying local means the artist organiser will no longer have to travel long distances or fly overseas with their entourage and equipment to perform.

Curating Artists.
Artist organisers will be very familiar with other performances artists because it is a close-knit community and this makes it easier to secure a good line up of headline artists. Hosting the event locally many artist organisers also make a point of curating and featuring local up and coming artists further enhancing any local community theme. 

his style of music festival is unlikely to secure any global brand sponsors but will focus on local organisations that will be keen to garner exposure to an audience that goes beyond the local community. Hosting a music festival for the first time in the artist's hometown can make it easier to gain support from local authorities and tourist organisations too who will see this event as an opportunity to promote their area for tourism or other tangible reasons.

Controlling Finances. 
Expenditure can easily get out of hand so tight financial control is essential and these style festivals usually start small and grow over time. With funding from local sponsors and ticket sales there should be sufficient income to cover any costs incurred.

Logistics Management. 
Managing the festival logistics is probably not something that artists are skilled in, their speciality is creating and performing music. It makes sense to collaborate with people or teams that have experience in planning and running such events leaving the artist organiser to concentrate on creative curation and overall theme for example.

Artist organised music festivals have been around for some time and do provide a performance outlet for artists unable or unwilling to join the festival circuit and are ideal for those that have their own ideas about how a music festival should be run. One of the best examples is the Cropredy Folk festival organised and run by the folk band The Fairport Convention, the festival has been held annually since the late 70’s and attracts over 20,000 visitors each year.

For artists keen to organise and plan their own 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, cashless ordering and ticketing. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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