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The Pop-Up Music Festival.

Andy Robertson

As many music festival organisers have been forced to cancel their main multi day festivals they have moved to other outlets including virtual online shows and smaller pop-up events. Restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic have made large events impossible but small one day pop-up festivals are gaining in popularity.  


The planning for infrastructure and construction for a multi-day festival can take many months so organisers have been looking at alternative solutions to continue providing live events. Under the restrictions enforced by governments and local authorities these smaller events have either been drive-in or limited capacity socially distanced events. This is where the pop-up format comes into its own and there are numerous suppliers that can provide a one-stop-shop solution.

The pop-up up festival would likely only last one day with limited capacity and with limited ticket sales the costs must be strictly controlled. Searching around for suppliers will reveal companies that can provide pop-up stages that can be erected in under a day on grass or concrete and they can usually supply all the backline equipment plus lighting and power generators too. Organisers just need to curate performance artists and arrange for volunteers to assist during the event. Many companies can also supply suitable barriers for social distancing along with any temporary toilet facilities for example.

This leaves the organisers with time to focus on their line-up and the marketing and ticketing of the event. Careful selection of suitable food and beverage vendors can be made utilising cashless ordering and payments that will become the norm for vendor suppliers. With logistics for a pop-up festival being deployed quickly festival organisers can make quick decisions and react to any prevailing circumstances because locations can be flexible. Many music festival organisers have been running pop-up festivals since 2020 replacing their main annual event with monthly pop-up festivals in multiple locations and limited to about 1,000 people. 

Festival organisers that pursue the pop-up format will benefit from a constant brand presence along with providing a live performance platform for artists that will strengthen relationships in the industry. In addition, organisers will gain experience of operating live music events under the current restrictions for social distancing and sanitisation requirements that will be a huge advantage when live events are allowed again. The festival organisers that have remained focused on their main event and cancelled events until 2022 will have to learn from scratch how to handle any required restrictions efficiently. For these multiple reasons it is beneficial for any music festival organiser to consider trying the pop-up festival format just to test their logistics capabilities within any new protocols and requirements and should be a great learning experience that can be scaled up to their main festival in 2022. 

For organisers planning their pop-up 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 Marc Rickertsen from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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