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Are Live Events a Reality in the New Normal?

Andy Robertson

In the UK and many other countries live performances are retuning in both outdoor and indoor venues but with new restrictions. For sure there is pent up demand from event goers and artists are really keen to get back on stage too, but is it really financially viable for live events to take place in what's left of 2020 or should they wait until 2021? 

Most large-scale live performance events and music festivals have been postponed until 2021 with organisers furloughing staff and cutting costs or raising money to cover operating expenses hoping for a return to normal next year. Despite the various financial support from government initiatives and other bodies related to the live performance industry this is primarily aimed at performance artists and venues, there would appear to be no real financial incentive for music festivals to attempt to run an event in what is left of the summer months.

While most independent festival organisers have hunkered down until the summer of 2021 many venues are pushing ahead with plenty of live events in the coming months. This is driven in part by larger corporate event organisers in conjunction with bigger venues who have access to financial reserves. The reality of the current situation means that venues, vendors and artist fees are lower, however balance this with reduced capacity, sometimes by as much as 90%, ticket sales revenue is also vastly reduced despite the hike in ticket prices for event goers. Add in the additional staff costs incurred for social distancing enforcement and sanitizing measures notwithstanding that the revenue from sponsors has all but dried up it’s difficult to see how events running now can break even at best.

There are however, very good reasons why despite this it is really important that live events continue to go ahead. Artists and venues need the support or there is a risk of losing key assets to the entire live music event industry. In addition, it is vital that all the brands involved continue to get their name in front of the public. It’s a fickle business and if the whole industry hides in a dark room for a year people soon forget.

All sectors of the live music industry need to be supported in these dark times in whatever way that manifests itself. For these reasons it's important that event organisers seriously consider running some events over the coming months even with the expectation that they may only break even, the benefits to artists, venues, vendors, sponsors and event goers sometimes cannot be measured in financial terms alone. Branding and being in the public eye as well as being socially responsible in these difficult times has an equal importance in non-financial support.

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can help make the planning and running of live events more efficient and reduce operating costs. 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 FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features everything the event planner needs run live events no matter how large or small.  

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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