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Music Festival Restart - Vendors and Sponsors.

Andy Robertson

While the current status of many UK music festivals is in flux the next few weeks will be a crucial time for deciding whether or not to go ahead with an event in the late summer months. Aside from the financial considerations it is the logistics planning that could be a major deciding factor on going ahead or postponing yet again.  

Key to the logistics for any sizeable music festival will be the status of the vendors and sponsors for the event. Revenue from vendors and sponsors is key to the financial success of a music festival and will be a major consideration. Assuming that a festival organiser has maintained contact with their vendors and sponsors since cancelling their 2020 event it should be a case of understanding their current status.

For a large music festival there may be pitches available for several hundred vendors and it would be safe to assume that the bulk of those pitches were sold out for the 2020 event. A quick assessment of the current status of each vendor will be required, particularly with regards to any pre-payment or deposits taken. It is likely that when an event was cancelled last year some of the vendors that made a financial commitment may have pulled out. Depending on the terms of any contract made at the time of booking some refunds may have been made. All vendors that booked pitches in 2020 need to be contacted to confirm their commitment to 2021 and for any outstanding monies to be invoiced. It is likely that some vendors have suffered financially in the last 12 months and may have gone out of business so they will need to be replaced with new vendors. With demand always high it should be relatively easy to find replacement vendors. A key concern that needs to be addressed is the possibility of another cancellation closer to any confirmed date. With event cancellation insurance almost impossible to get and the UK Government reluctant to underwrite any such scheme festival organisers should be prepared to address these questions from vendors.

It is unlikely that many sponsors have transferred any funds to music festival organisers in 2020 as their commitment to sponsor a music festival may have been an agreement in good faith and once the event was cancelled it was easy for the sponsor to withdraw from any agreement without penalty. Any sponsors that had made such an agreement in 2020 should be approached again for sponsorship of the revised 2021 event date. Many of the corporate sponsors, particularly in the F&B sector may have suffered financially over the last year and so may be reluctant to commit large budgets to a music festival with a date that still hangs in the balance. 

The key for music festival organisers is to ensure that constant communication with vendors and sponsors is maintained on a regular basis. Companies large and small do not like surprises and prefer solid plans and commitment. If the music festival organisers find they are short of vendors and sponsors it should be relatively easy to find replacements such is the pent-up demand for attendance at music festivals in 2021.

For any music festival organiser planning to get their event live this summer using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their vendor and sponsor 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 and ticketing. 

Image by (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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