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The Importance of Emerging Talent for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

The music festival industry is ever evolving and an important part of that evolution is bringing in new and up and coming talent to a line-up. The big-name stars will always be a draw for festival-goers but as a key part of the live music industry music festivals should be playing a key role in providing a platform for new talent. 


Nurturing new emerging talent is a key part of the music entertainment industry but for performance artists getting a break can be incredibly elusive. There are various organisations that do their best to support emerging talent and PRS Foundation do a lot of work with established artists, venue owners, promoters and music festival organisers. They provide access to a variety of funding options and sponsors who want to see new talent succeed with their early career. PRS do work with Glastonbury Festival to run an emerging talent competition that takes place each year prior to the main festival. The winners from that talent competition are then given slots to perform live at Glastonbury Festival.

The music festival sector can play a key role in providing a platform for emerging new talent whether it's on a similar format to the Glastonbury emerging talent competition or something else. As many music festivals have multiple stages it is perfectly possible to dedicate a smaller stage to lesser-known musicians and emerging talent. Some organisers will even allow new talent to perform for a 15-minute set with the option to extend the set time dependent on the audience reaction. Although a less popular format due to set scheduling issues it does mean that performance artists that build a rapport with an audience get more time.

Most music festivals employ artistic directors and curators who not only book and schedule big name acts but usually allocate set times to emerging talent too. For an up-and-coming artist this will often require them to submit material well in advance of the festival dates and music festival websites usually have a section dedicated to artists who wish to apply. Any performance artist pursuing this route would need to be well prepared with professionally produced material to help them stand out.

An alternative route is for new talent to get listed with an established music promoter or manager who can represent them and their credentials to music festival organisers. The professional networking and connections can really help in fast tracking an emerging artist but they may have to sacrifice some control and potential future revenue in return.

Festival-goers generally do have an interest in emerging talent and allocating sets helps to give music festival organisers a good variety of acts rather than relying on the same old acts year after year. 

For organisers planning their live music events 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 Big Bag Films from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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