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Handling Festival-goer Feedback.

Andy Robertson

The majority of festival-goers have a great experience at their chosen festival but with so many people attending events it's impossible to create a positive experience for 100% of attendees. There will always be negative feedback on just about any subject and festival organisers need to have a clearly defined strategy for handling such feedback.  


One of the easiest methods to obtain customer feedback is to conduct a correctly sampled survey amongst festival-goers post event. Responses can be collated and used to make improvements for future events. It is also important to monitor any negative feedback that comes to light before, during or after an event. Organisers should always do their utmost to act on that feedback but never forget to check the credibility of the source and for persistent complainers.

Direct Feedback. 
Direct feedback is much easier to handle as the person providing the feedback is more likely to be raising a genuine issue. This could be a visitor wishing to speak directly with the festival organisers on-site or if it’s post event the feedback could come from a call or email message for example.


Social Media Feedback. 
Negative reviews and comments made on social media platforms can be much more difficult to manage and need special care when making an appropriate response. To avoid any public debate on a particular subject organisers should attempt to take any complaint off-line and offer a personalised approach in dealing with their complaint or negative comment.

Planning. 
If the festival has a reasonably large organisation entity behind it there should be a plan in place and strategy for handling negative feedback and any such plan should cover the following:         

  • Resources – ensuring there are sufficient people available to respond to negative feedback.
  • Training – anyone handling negative feedback should have sufficient knowledge and know how to respond to any comments.
  • Response procedures - create standard responses for typical comments which for a festival could include artist performances, bathroom facilities, queues and ticketing for example 

Overall, it's important to listen to feedback and not simply ignore it, also consider if any feedback is constructive or not. Ensure that when replying to public comments on social media that a well thought out response has been composed, this is especially important when considering the transparency of the festival brand. Never get into a public argument that invariably can lead to prolonged threads and end up doing more damage than a well thought out response to the original comment.

As part of that transparency ensure that any negative feedback is incorporated into future festival planning and communicated to festival-goers considering a future event. It's more important to take action and make visual improvements to an event in response to feedback as it demonstrates that the organisers have listened to festival-goers and taken action to make improvements. 

For organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event 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 Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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