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Can New Sponsorship Deals Save the Music Festival Sector.

Andy Robertson

With funding at a crucial level for many music festivals and many on the cusp of survival can new sponsorship deals save the day? As the number of festivals cancelled has increased there are fewer choices for festival-goers making those that are going ahead sold out, this is an attractive captive audience for many potential sponsors but can they save the sector?    


Sponsorship has always been a key financial contributor for music festivals and traditionally has focussed on alcohol brands. With the cancellation of so many events in the last 18 months festival organisers have lost that key source of income and brands have cut sponsorship funding from their marketing budgets. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel as countries like the UK start to open up and music festivals are allowed again brands are increasingly looking to the future and sponsorship funding is making a comeback. Will this be enough to save the large number of festivals that are at financial risk? 

Brands with sponsorship budgets are looking for a number of factors in deciding if a festival is worthy of their funding. Key will be the track record and history of the festival along with statistics on audience demographics and visitor numbers indicating year on year growth. There has to be a match between the brand’s target audience and the festival-goers attending. In addition, they are looking for a stable well organised management team that is capable of delivering their branding and sponsorship objectives. 

For festival organisers now is a good time to start approaching and pitching to potential sponsors but it is not something that should be rushed. A professional pitch full of audience data and concrete plans for the future can make all the difference and not forgetting to include all the appropriate financial numbers too. A well-prepared pitch can make all the difference in securing a deal. Another factor that could drive a successful deal is the industry contacts festival organisers have and these should be leveraged wherever possible.

Previously many festival organisers have had the luxury of picking and choosing brands that they feel represent the ethos of the festival and avoiding brands that perhaps don’t sit well with their audience of festival-goers. How would festival-goers feel about an event sponsored by an oil company for example, it probably wouldn’t sit well with many but could ensure the event’s survival, this is an extreme example but could be typical dichotomy organisers face in the future. The fast-food giant KFC have just announced a sponsorship deal with KISSTORY without which the festival would not be able to return. It’s not a brand that has a logical fit with the stereotypical festival-goer however the demographics fit the brand’s target audience. Some tough decisions lie ahead for music festival organisers in selecting and securing sponsorship deals that could secure their future survival.

For organisers planning a music festival or live event using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the online 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, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Image by John R Perry from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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