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Master Apparel Merchandise for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

The merchandise favourite has always been the T-shirt and for decades has its roots as a rock band souvenir. Whilst the artist themed T-shirt is still the most popular piece of merchandise sold music festival branded apparel is becoming more sought after and festival organisers should be maximising this revenue stream. 

Apparel merch serves as a great memento for festivalgoers and continues to rise in popularity being sold on-site and online. Some festivals generate considerable revenue from merch sales with data from atVenu suggesting that the average sized music festival in the United States generates US$421,000 per event with an average spend per transaction of $50. Branded apparel can have a high profit margin too and is an additional source of income that cannot be ignored. The trend towards a specific music festival themed apparel means that it now accounts for 61% whilst artist themed apparel makes up the other 39%.

Variety of Merch.
he T-shirt still makes up the bulk of apparel merch sales (72%), there are other items to consider including hoodies, baseball caps, sweatshirts and shirts for example. The profit margins will likely be smaller on T-shirts because of the lower perceived value so it's important to offer other apparel merch than just T-shirts, the volumes may be lower but the margins much higher.

Although sourcing apparel in the US or Europe can be more costly it's easier to conduct quality control over production. Most apparel however, is manufactured in Asia and many high-profile apparel fashion brands contract their manufacturing to Asian factories. The cost of manufacture is considerably lower but these large fashion brands can afford to have personnel present to check quality. Ordering remotely has inherent risks so only contract with a recommended and approved supplier.

Sales Channels. 
The obvious sales channels are on-site pitches dedicated to the festival merch but this should be supplemented by an online presence on the festival website and social media. It is fairly straightforward to implement an ecommerce module into a website but also consider Facebook and Google who offer no cost virtual stores for selling products. Always ensure that sufficient stock is available to avoid customer disappointment and offer merch before during and after the event dates.

Apparel merch is growing in importance as a branding device and key revenue stream for music festivals so it is vital to give this sufficient focus and investment rather than having it as an afterthought. Some apparel merch has become quite collectable over the years although organisers should always be wary of fake copy products circulating, something that has been a challenge for major fashion apparel brands for years. Get the mix of product, quality and supply chain right and this supplementary revenue stream can become key to any music festival’s profitability.  

For any event organiser planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival 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.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Data courtesy of atVenu

Andy Robertson
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