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Music Festival Concession Initiatives for Those Experiencing Financial Hardship.

Andy Robertson

It’s a tough time for music festivals and festival-goers alike as economic pressures squeeze disposable incomes. Some organisations are promoting concession initiatives in conjunction with performance artists and music festival entities to raise awareness and achieve a more inclusive audience.


Costs for festival organisations are rising and this is being reflected in increased ticket prices resulting in poor ticket sales and festival-goer audiences that are limited to higher income demographics. Despite these challenging times it's still possible to have concession schemes that help those facing financial hardship attend a music festival.

What is Financial Hardship? 
The answer to this question is really going to depend on the country being referenced and can mean very different things to different people. For most western developed countries where the majority of music festivals take place financial hardship is usually defined as someone who has difficulty paying bills or repayments on loans and debts when they are due. This can therefore apply to those on low incomes as well as the unemployed for example. For these individuals the possibility of attending a large scale music festival with famous headline acts remains a dream. 

Concession Programmes in Practice.
In early 2021 the Co-op, Music Feeds festival was launched as a virtual event and was supported by numerous well-known musicians with the aim of raising awareness of food poverty in the UK. In July 2021 Ken Fest announced concession tickets specifically for those experiencing financial hardship, although only a small number of free tickets were available it did make the news. For festival-goers interested in ticket deals and concessions it’s worth researching offers available from each festival.

Example Concession Initiatives. 
There are numerous ways that festival organisers can help make an impact by helping those facing financial hardship. The simplest low-cost scheme may be to offer free car parking or camping to eligible festival-goers. Other initiatives that are gaining popularity are making provisions for regular ticket buyers to buy someone a ticket for those eligible people who pre-registered. This could also take the form of a donation fund where regular ticket buyers contribute any amount to fund tickets for concessions. Some festivals already offer a ‘Pay What You Want’ (or can afford) scheme or ask food and beverage vendors to make concessions for free meals.

For those who are financially challenged and keen to attend a music festival there are many free to attend events, however, the line-up will probably be restricted to local acts. To see well known artists, they would have to attend a more established traditional music festival. Defining eligibility can be done by showing evidence of receipt of universal credit for example. For festival organisers many of the schemes and initiatives to help those in financial hardship attend their event can be implemented for little or no cost and demonstrate support for worthy causes. 

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 via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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