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Music Festival Box Office Management.

Andy Robertson

With advances in technology and a shift in ticket sales to an online environment the physical box office is almost redundant. However, the function of the ‘Box Office’ still plays a crucial role in the financial success of any event and especially for music festivals. What are the key elements of box office management that music festival organisers should focus on?  


The management of a box office function covers so many aspects that are key to generating revenue, preventing fraud and enhancing customer service that organisers should provide sufficient resources to the responsible team. What are the primary roles of the box office team and what is trending in the current environment?

Ticket Sales. 
The box office team have responsibility for ensuring a smooth process for ticket sales and will be involved in implementing agreed pricing and early bird discount schemes in a timely manner. The back-office procedures for collection of payments should be faultless with full reporting capabilities on failed, incomplete or fraudulent payments. Festival organisers will need to know the ticket sales revenue numbers every day so they can be compared to any targets set.

Changes in technology have made the box office function far more efficient in recent years. All payments are now made electronically using a variety of payment methods including credit cards, mobile wallets and other payment gateways like Google Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal for example. No physical paper tickets are issued and electronic tickets are sent by email or other messaging app providing bar codes and QR codes to ticket buyers for quick and easy scanning on-site. The software used for ticketing management is very sophisticated and continuously improves over time. This ensures accurate reporting and real time notifications to the box office team of any disputes that need to be resolved.

The opportunities for up-selling other services and ticket upgrades is usually managed by the box office team and for organisers provides opportunities to generate additional revenue. Providing an easy route for a ticket buyer to upgrade to VIP or extend from a single day ticket to a weekend ticket should be a seamless process. Good software along with documented processes and procedures can enable this to be mostly automated.

On-site Sales. 
The box office team will always have a presence on-site usually located at entrance gates to enable walk-ins and the purchase of additional services. Their primary function will be to scan ticket codes to enable entry but they should also have the ability to take cashless payments. In addition, the team need appropriate access to data that enables them to resolve customer ticket or payment disputes. 

Customer Service.
Whether it’s processing payments and issuing electronic tickets in advance of the festival dates or managing on-site entrances one of the key roles of the box office team is to provide great customer service. Efficient resolution of payment disputes and refunds should be straightforward and simple, in addition, there should also be an escalation process for unresolved issues and complaints.

For organisers planning their festivals using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including comprehensive ticketing. 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.

Image by Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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