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Second Time Around Planning for a Music Festival

Andy Robertson

For festival organisers who have just completed their inaugural event they will have built a wealth of knowledge and data for every aspect of the music festival. When contemplating the second year of a new music festival how can they use this data and what are the broader considerations when planning their next event.

Despite the best possible planning and an experienced team music festivals are prone to perform differently form expectations. The huge number of variables at play is often a reason for this as something like unexpected inclement weather can wreak havoc on any outdoor event. What are the key steps and data to analyse when planning the second event?

Post-Festival Evaluation and Lessons Learnt. 
Organisers need to conduct a thorough analysis of every aspect of the event to build a picture of what went well and what did not. This will typically include analysis of ticket sales, revenue, festival-goer attendance numbers plus costs incurred, these can be compared to numbers predicted. This will give an overall picture of the event’s financial performance but should also include qualitative data about the event too.

Festival Goers Research and Feedback.
It is essential to conduct robust research with festival-goers to gain accurate feedback on aspects like the ticket sales process, prices charged, line-up performances, vendor food and beverage selections, safety and security and site facilities. All data collected on these aspects can help organisers understand the overall event feedback and identify areas for improvement in the second year. It makes sense to treat anecdotal comments on social media with caution as they probably don’t represent the majority opinion.

Financial Analysis.
Assuming that the financial planning for the inaugural event was reasonably good the organising entity may have turned a profit. With the data collected form the first event it’s now possible to make more accurate financial plans for the second year. Tickets sales, vendor and sponsorship revenue projections will be more accurate. The organisers will also have a much better idea of the likely costs that will be incurred too.

Project Management.
Understanding the aspects of logistics planning that went well or did not an improved project management process should be possible in the second year. Typical questions that need answers could be; did contractors supply the right materials on time and how did the site infrastructure operate? Did the transportation system work as planned and were there sufficient facilities available and security arrangements?

Marketing Performance.
Did the planned marketing activities generate ticket sales and drum up festival-goer engagement with social media followers as projected? Digital marketing allows accurate measurement of most campaign activity and an assessment can help to build the marketing campaign activity plan for the second event.

Other Factors.
Other key considerations can include the suitability of the chosen venue site and dates selected. How were vendors and sponsors managed and were they satisfied with how the festival was run. Did the festival meet its sustainability objectives and what can be improved for the next event.

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 fauxels via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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