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Music Festival Supplier Consolidation.

Andy Robertson

Every music festival relies on a multitude of specialist contractors to supply everything they need to put on a successful event. There are hundreds of suppliers to choose from and each will be selected based on a variety of factors. Are there more cost-efficient ways of appointing contractors by considering a supplier who can provide more than just one service. 


Recent events like the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in some consolidation of companies operating in the music festival and event supply sectors. With lost revenues and no future bookings any company that did not have deep pockets to survive either disappeared or was acquired by a larger competitor. This consolidation in the industry has resulted in more suppliers now offering multiple services rather than a single specialist service potentially giving festival organisers the option to go for a one-stop-service supplier.

Festival Suppliers. 
The variety of services required to put on a music festival is huge and organisers may be dealing with several hundred suppliers for each event. Anything from power supply and A/V equipment to stage rigging and toilet facilities many contractors specialise in just one aspect. The benefits of this are expertise and experience and many organisers have their own list of preferred reliable suppliers. However, smaller suppliers have been hit by rising costs and other challenges in recent years which may have resulted in lower investment in new technology and even a loss of experienced personnel.

Economies of Scale. 
By sourcing festival services from a handful of suppliers who have consolidated services can provide numerous benefits to festival organisers. They may be able to significantly reduce the number of suppliers they have to deal with saving them time and money. It is also likely that the pricing may be more competitive form a larger single supplier that can offer a variety of services. These larger consolidated supplier companies are more likely to have funds available to invest in the latest technology and in personnel training and certification.

Future Supplier Developments.
There is an emergence of these larger consolidated suppliers to the festival sector that now enable organisers to obtain the following form a single source: Power supply, AV equipment, stage rigging, camera equipment, video walls, design services and technical engineering expertise for example. Equally there are consolidated suppliers that can provide toilet facilities and a complete water management service too. In assessing how to select suppliers festival organisers will consider previous experience, pricing, scope of service provided, sustainability credentials and the level of investment in the latest specification equipment.

Many festival organisers have built good relationships with the suppliers and contractors they have used over the years and may have a sense of loyalty, however, with rising costs and consolidation in the supplier sector it is certainly worthwhile considering a supplier that can bring a larger number of services to the event reducing time spent managing contractors.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including a specific contractor management module. 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 Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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