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Small Boutique Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

The draw of attending a mega music festival with hundreds of thousands of festival-goers and experiencing some of the world's best performance acts can be extremely appealing. Judging by the continued appearance of ever bigger music festivals their popularity will surely continue. For festival-goers experiencing festival fatigue there is always the smaller boutique music festival. 


Many music festivals start as small events and have grown over the years into large commercial operations. Whilst this appeals to a broader audience a large event will always lose some of that early intimate and friendly atmosphere. It is not uncommon for big well known international performance artists to occasionally turn up and preform in a small local pub for example. It's not just fans that enjoy the close atmosphere some artists enjoy that too. The experience of dancing and enjoying a performance just a few feet from the musicians without the need for barriers and security is something not to be forgotten. Experiencing a famous artist musician preforming in an intimate space does not compare to the more sterile atmosphere of a festival site where you need binoculars to see the artist on stage at the other side of a field. 

There are plenty of smaller boutique style music festivals that purposely have stayed small and intimate. They are often working within the confines of a small venue and organisers fear that if they expand to a large capacity venue some of the ‘magic’ will be lost. Keeping maximum capacity to several thousand in smaller venues enables greater control over costs and with a good artist line-up many of the smaller festivals still manage to sell out every year. 

Small boutique music festivals will usually keep to a specific genre of music and attract a hardcore fan base and so are well suited to more specialised musical styles. The organisers are unlikely to have large budgets available for big artist fees and prefer local and up and coming artists. It is not unusual where a small festival has been running for a long time that an artist who performed at that event years ago but has subsequently found fame and fortune will return for a surprise performance sometimes waiving all of the normal fees associated with bookings for a mega festival.


Most countries that have a thriving music festival industry with a good selection of mega festivals and smaller boutique specialist festivals to choose from. Some smaller events will ultimately grow in size and become the large mega festivals of the future but it really depends on the ambitions of the organisers and what they want to get out of running a music festival. Some are aiming for commercial success whilst others are in it just for the experience, both motivating factors bode well for the future of the music festival sector. 

For organisers planning their boutique 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 Thibault Trillet from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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