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Music Festival Venue Cost Control.

Andy Robertson

A significant cost element for any music festival is the expense of hiring the venue space and for many organisers this can be difficult to control and predict. What steps can organises take to secure a cost-effective venue space that fits their requirements for location, size and infrastructure.  


The cost of any music festival venue can vary wildly and will usually depend on the location and type of venue. Any city centre space whether it’s an open space park or a collection of multi venue buildings will always cost proportionally more than a field in a remote location. A city centre venue has the advantage of good infrastructure and ease of access for festival-goers. A remote location will be cheaper but requires on site facilities to be supplied and built and may have potential access issues. 

Owned Freehold Venues. 
Some music festival venues are owned on a freehold basis by the organisers and provides the most cost-effective solution. As long as they can obtain the necessary licences and build the infrastructure, if it’s a remote outside space, the risk of increased costs or cancellation is limited. However, not all festival organisers have the luxury of owning their own property whether it’s open space land or a city venue.

Rented Venues. 
The majority of music festival organisers will have to find and book a suitable venue location which carries with it certain risks. Some large commercially available event sites can be extremely expensive as can city centre venues. Irrespective of a booking confirmation organisers are at the mercy of the property owners who may decide to increase prices or cancel any booking without explanation. This can and does happen and will leave organisers with losses from sunk costs and the headache of finding an alternative venue. 

Alternative Sources for Finding Venues. 
When conducting a search for a suitable venue location organisers can use their network of contacts to find a suitable venue. Alternatively, there are widely available online resources to help find site locations but most advertised are at the higher end of the scale for costs. A more detailed search by organisers can find resources like borrowmygarden which lists hundreds of event sites throughout the UK. The site claims to provide access to picturesque gardens, fields in the countryside and woodland wonderlands for example. Their listings have very reasonable charges as each venue site is listed by the owners with no middlemen. Each listing includes details about facilities available and types of events previously hosted. The information presented is transparent with rates and costs listed along with venue availability.

When booking any venue for a music festival it's essential to have a comprehensive contract agreed by both parties which details financial penalties should either party cancel. The key issues for organisers are the costs incurred in promoting their event along with booking artists and contractors for example. Many venue owners will only refund the hire costs not consequential loses.

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 Jonathan Petersson via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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