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Creative Incentives for Festival Staff.

Andy Robertson

For festival organisations with sizeable teams there are the legal minimum benefits that employers must give to their staff. These relate to working hours, holiday allowances and salary for example. However, given the additional unsocial hours often worked organisers should get creative in how they reward their teams.


The hard work done by the teams behind every big music festival weekend can be considerable and these talented individuals deserve more than just what is detailed in their employment contracts. Festival organisers do have access to plenty of resources that can potentially be used as rewards and incentives for their own teams and they should be more creative in devising any reward and incentive schemes.

Complimentary or Discounted Event Tickets. 
Many festival organisers are well connected in the industry and can sometimes get access to other festival tickets either free or at substantially discounted prices. If this is the case these can be offered as rewards to their own staff so they get to experience another festival in a stress-free environment. Where organisers have good relationships with performance artists and their management teams it is sometimes possible to obtain other event or concert tickets with the possibility of meeting the artist and getting the whole backstage experience.

VIP Experiences.
Aside from tickets at other events organisers can sometimes negotiate good rates or free VIP experiences at other events and festivals. This could be glamping and access to VIP designated areas at other festivals for example and in some cases will have a high perceived value making them very desirable.

Merchandise.
Every festival produces an array of merchandise which can have a high retail ticket price and it should be straightforward offer these to staff, although it’s probably best to check if team members have any desire for this merchandise. It may work for limited edition items that buyers see as collectable.

Communications. 
Festival organisers should regularly check with staff and teams what incentives they prefer and their answers can determine how employers prioritise different rewards. Rarely does a financial reward or bonus alone provide any long-term loyalty or motivation. Money can be a useful short-term motivator in some cases. However, experiences usually make much better rewards because they can increase motivation, morale and result in better teamwork overall. Organisers should make it clear to staff what rewards are available along with the criteria for earning them. A useful method for determining who benefits from any reward is for all staff to nominate the person they think deserves something the most, like a people's choice. In addition to any full-time festival staff organisers should consider similar rewards and incentives for the best performing volunteers too as this helps to build loyalty and will encourage them to apply as volunteers for future events.

For organisers planning their festivals 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 Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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