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Avoiding Logistics Problems at Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Despite vast improvements in logistics planning thanks to advances in technology some festival owners still get it wrong. Perhaps there can be unforeseen circumstances that lead to problems but in the modern age festival organisers should now really be producing slick events resulting in great customer satisfaction. 


There were reports recently in the British media of a festival taking place this year that suffered a multitude of problems including insufficient toilets that were overflowing, bars that ran out of drinks, a Wi-Fi system that completely failed and unacceptably long queues. The festival in question had previously run successful events so it would appear something went drastically wrong in the planning process this year. 

Reasons for Failures. 
It is unlikely to be a single aspect that causes problems but more likely a combination of factors most of which can be avoided. Switching contractors to save money is a risky strategy because of unknown reliability and performance issues. Perhaps there are new staff but do they have the necessary experience and have they been sufficiently trained. General poor planning to anticipate festival-goer numbers and demand for services is a big failure and can only be overcome with experience. Perhaps the festival planning period has been squeezed from a year to six months, such circumstances can lead to contractor supply problems along with last minute planning.

Contingency Plans. 
No matter how perfect the festival planning is a contingency plan should exist for every aspect of the festival logistics. If a festival is spread over 3 or 4 days the organisers should identify any potential issues on the first day and take immediate action to rectify problems. Power supplies always have backup transfer systems and the same should apply for Wi-Fi services. Having the ability to ship in food and beverage supplies at short notice should form part of that contingency planning too.

Logistics Systems. 
Whilst unexpected problems can always arise a good logistics system that is dynamic and flexible can be used for planning the festival. An efficient logistics system documents every aspect of the festival from schedules and shows to contractor and volunteer timetables. Giving everyone appropriate access to any such system means that if problems arise, they can check documented procedures and contingency plans and take the necessary action.

With so many experienced festival organisers in the market combined with excellent festival logistics planning systems any potential problems should be easily avoided. Great contingency planning can also add to minimising any potential problems. Squeezing timescales can create problems as can cutting costs, perhaps that's that real reason many large-scale festivals have postponed their festivals in 2021. They don't want to compromise on delivering a quality festival experience for ticket paying festival-goers. 

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.

Photo by Krizjohn Rosales from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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