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Maximising Ticket Sales for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

In the current economic climate, many music festival organisers have faced challenges in attracting ticket buyers. The marketing tactics used in promoting festival tickets can be complex but when executed well can get an event sold out well in advance of the festival dates giving the organisers much needed cash flow. 


It is no coincidence that some music festivals sell out quickly and others cancel due to lack of ticket sales. Larger well organised festival entities employ teams to plan and define their ticketing strategy by using their experience from previous events. What can festival organisers do to maximise their ticket sales revenue well in advance of their event dates.

Planning. 
Using experience and data from previous ticket sales cycles the organising team can plan their ticketing strategy for forthcoming events. Most organisers have moved away from a one-dimensional approach of a single ticket offering at one price and now use a tiered system with multiple prices, packages and variable timing. It can take some time to come up with the ideal strategy and organisers invest much time and effort in perfecting this.

Cash Flow Forecasting. 
With historical data form previous events where multiple ticket offerings were made spread over months organisers can put in place their strategy for the forthcoming season. They will know how much revenue can be expected in each month based on the previous event’s ticket sales performance. This is an essential part of financial planning and strategies can be tweaked to improve cash flow performance or new ideas tested. 

Creative Pricing and Timing. 
Many organisers have found that offering only their premium packages as their first release can boost cash flow from ticket sales. This entails selling multi-day tickets and VIP packages first and if limited in number can enable an early ‘sold out’ announcement which can drive demand for future ticket releases. If the ticket releases are staggered over time, they can be released in stages with limited numbers each time. The cheapest final release General Admittance single day tickets can be made available about a month before the event date. The same strategy can be employed with glamping and camping offers too. Some festivals are even trying to boost demand by making tickets available for limited times of 8 hours for example but this has yet to be proven as a reliable strategy. Releasing additional tickets for packages previously announced as ‘sold out’ can work in some instances.

Timing of ticket releases is critical and organisers don’t want to be left with large numbers of unsold tickets just a few weeks before the event dates. Any ticketing strategy must be linked to smart marketing support campaigns to convey the right messages. The ability to announce something as ‘sold out’ can be quite powerful as rarity can drive up demand if used wisely. No matter how creative organisers want to get with their ticketing strategy they should test new ideas first on limited numbers to check the viability before scaling up.

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. 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.

Photo by Lukas via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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