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Announcement Timing for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Timing is everything when it comes to making key announcements about upcoming music festivals. In a market where festival organisers are competing for ticket sales revenue the timing of any key announcements can help maximise ticket sales revenue at the right time. What are the factors festival organisers need to consider about making announcements.  

Music festivals can take around 18 months to organise from the start to the event dates and whilst organisers will be keen to make announcements as soon as possible there are some critical elements to the festival logistics that need to be finalised first. Consideration of these ensure that the right information is released in a timely manner and is not misleading in any way.

Planning and Investment. 
It is essential to have secured the necessary funding and have this in place before any solid announcements can be made. Has the venue or site and proposed dates been agreed and approved by the necessary authorities? This is a critical step that needs to be finalised before almost anything else can happen, however, from the early planning stages there is nothing to prevent organisers from curating performance artists even if on a provisional basis. When the dates and venues site are approved it will be time to start considering parting with deposits for artists and suppliers to secure an initial line-up and logistics plans. Only once these tasks have been completed should organisers consider making an announcement about the forthcoming event just to highlight the venue, dates and initial line-up.

New Festivals. 
A new music festival will have additional challenges because they will not have been able to retain profits from previous events. Their funding will be reliant on investors being prepared to make risky investments. There is temptation and great pressure to make premature announcements for new music festivals, however, organisers should ensure that they have covered the logistics planning noted above before making announcements.

Artist Line-up.
In the UK the traditional time for making announcements for artist's line-ups is generally December and January. Anyone monitoring music festival announcements will notice a flurry of media activity in December as organisers race to get their line-up announcements made before the Christmas break. Although this has become the norm there is a danger that any announcement can get lost in a sea of press coverage and some organisers prefer to make their announcements earlier in the year. Most festival organisers will opt for announcements that include as many signed acts as possible to demonstrate to potential festival-goers how much artistic content they will get. This type of announcement can gain more impact than making announcements about each individual act that signs up, the only exception to this would be the announcement of a well-known headliner act.

Ticket Availability. 
Whilst it is tempting to start ticket sales as early in the process as possible the pricing of tickets will require careful planning. For this reason, most organisers make early announcements for pre-sale registration encouraging potential ticket buyers to sign up with the offer of obtaining discounted and early bird tickets. Analysis of pre-registrations can provide key data on potential tickets sales and assist in deciding on the exact pricing structure. It makes sense to make tickets sales availability announcements at the same time as the artist line-up.

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 Markus Winkler from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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