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The Future of the UK’s Music Festival Industry post COVID-19.

Andy Robertson

Event organising entities come in many shapes and forms from big corporate event companies to small independent not-for-profit organisers. This is particularly true of the many music festivals that take place in the UK every summer. Irrespective of the organisational structure and purpose it should not detract from the audience's enjoyment.


Running an event with a not-for-profit theme where all profits go to good causes will give potential customers a feel-good factor which is what makes them so popular. In an age of focused ‘social responsibilityparticularly environmental concerns, the support of these issues may be key to customers committing to attendance. Despite the noble efforts of these organisers there are financially risky elements to operating such an event. Should something unexpected occur like the current COVID-19 pandemic their business model will be severely tested. The not-for-profit event organisers have a heavy reliance on pre-event ticket sales revenue to pay expenses meaning if the event is cancelled and customers ask for refunds their finances are going to be severely tested.

Even for big corporate event organisers the current situation with COVID-19 related cancellations can leave them exposed too but to a lesser extent. They are likely to have some financial clout to weather the storm and survive.

The independent not-for-profit events are currently facing an uncertain future and many have resorted to crowd funding exercises or simply asking for donations to survive. Sadly, many may not survive and the event organisers best placed to survive will be those with robust financial backing with well-structured organisations. These don’t necessarily have to be the big corporate event companies, smaller independent event companies in the not-for-profit sector will survive if they have good processes and an experienced business focused team.

There is no doubt that the current situation for the whole events industry is unprecedented and of course there will be casualties. If you are an independent event organiser in the not-for-profit sector survival may mean doing a deal with a larger corporate events company. This is a dichotomy, balancing survival of the event against the perceived evils of the corporate events company focused on turning a profit from every event.

All is not lost however, of course there will be some consolidation in the music festival events sector in the next 12 months. Most big corporate events companies are however quite switched on to what drives audience attendance and will always include collaboration with recognised charities to make donations and support good causes that are important to ticket paying customers. The ‘new normal’ for the festival events industry may see a balance of ownership by larger corporations (to bear any financial burdens) but with the event’s ethos remaining intact.

No matter if you are an independent event organiser or a big corporate having a comprehensive event management software solution like FestivalPro will help keep everything organised. 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. The easy to use FestivalPro platform contains everything you need to manage your event from start to finish and makes the whole process super-efficient.  

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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