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New Music Festival Margins and Safety.

Andy Robertson

Despite the coronavirus pandemic having an impact on the music festival sector new festivals still get announced on a regular basis. Why would anyone want to launch a new music festival in an already overcrowded market where margins are known to be extremely tight even for well-established festival organisers.


Although many music festivals evolved from small amateur events the business of organising and running a music festival requires the highest professional standards in the organising team. The costs involved in putting on a music festival can be huge so anyone considering stepping into the music festival business will need a robust financial backer with deep pockets that ensures the event is appropriately funded.

Staffing. 
Having an experienced team in place is essential for organising and running a festival, managing this business is no place for inexperience people. A core team of people will be required who have great track records in the music festival business and although they can be expensive it’s worth paying for this experience and a small team of professionals is better than a larger team of inexperienced people. If certain expertise is required it is better to sub-contract this to the right individual than employing someone full time. By focusing on experience and sub-contracting some tasks costs can be kept under control and there is no need to recruit large teams.

Health and Safety. 
One of the biggest criticisms of any new music festival is their lack of understanding of health and safety. The safety of festival-goers and staff is paramount in running any sizeable music festival. Utilising experts on the subject to manage the festival site safety should be a high priority for anyone involved with the organising team.

Planning and Contingencies. 
Strong financial planning from the outset can help identify all the costs involved in putting on a new music festival with accurate projections for revenue streams. The financial planning phase will usually reveal just how tight margins are going to be. With an emphasis on health and safety and building contingencies for every eventuality anyone planning a new music festival can ensure that costs do not get out of control and that they are running a safe event. 

For anyone thinking of planning their first music festival they should consult with experienced professionals first and discover if their idea is worth pursuing. If they decide to proceed it is probably sensible to start small and not be over ambitious with expectations. Even the smallest music festival must still incorporate every element required for a large event. However, starting small will mean that costs can be controlled more effectively thus reducing the risk. A new music festival on a small scale will provide the necessary experience to consider scaling up the event in future years. 

For 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 Wolfgang from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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