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The Music Festival Management Structure

Andy Robertson

As music festivals get bigger and bigger each year the organisational structure may need attention to maintain efficiency and control. Festivals often grow from small grass roots events managed by small teams of multi-tasking individuals but with growth comes the need to assert more process into the planning and execution of these large events.

When music festivals start out it is not unusual to have just a few people and some volunteers to help out. With these small teams it is often the case that everyone will need to perform multiple tasks in planning and organising the events. As the event gets larger some logistical problems can occur and things can rapidly start going wrong. Contractor deliveries don’t arrive on time, artists don’t turn up and facilities and vendors are inadequate for the number of visitors. Other indications of a struggling organising team may be ticketing problems for festival-goers and poor feedback. Any of these problems is a good indicator that the organising team is possibly stretched and not organised in the most efficient way. What is the typical organisational structure a growing music festival should adopt to clearly separate out functions and tasks to increase efficiency and avoid any problems.

Management Leadership Team. 
Usually, the top tier management team will contain founders and functional directors who have responsibility for planning and overall project management of the festival. The management team may also incorporate an overall operational management function that coordinates each department into the overall planning and execution. Typical functional directors may include: 

  • Festival Director.
  • Artistic Director.
  • Operations Director. 
  • Marketing Director.          

Artistic Team. 
Usually led by the Artistic Director this function is responsible for artist curation and talent management including negotiating fees and riders to scheduling shows and stage management. The team may have artist managers and producers who ensure that the entire festival is produced in a professional manner with an attractive artist line-up.

Human Resources. 
Falling under the Operational Director function this team will be responsible for the management of internal full-time staff as well as volunteer recruitment training and management. Management and training of staff and volunteers are usually separate functions with the overall HR team. 

Sales and Marketing. 
Marketing the festival will require creative individuals to execute advertising campaigns on social media and generate ticket sales. This team is also responsible for targeting and managing ticket sales along with managing revenue form sponsors and vendors.

Finance, IT and Contractor Management. 
These key back-office functions help to manage the organisation's finances and balance revenue with costs to ensure sufficient cash flow. The accountants will need to give constant updates to the senior management team on the festival’s current financial status. The financial, IT infrastructure and contractor management teams usually fit well into the operational function.

For music festival organisers planning their 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 fauxels from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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