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Digital Transformation and Automation of Music Festivals Operations.

Andy Robertson

The impact of technology on the music festival sector has been rapid in the last decade. Use of evolving digital technologies has enhanced the user experience for festival-goers and made operational management faster and more efficient. What aspects of music festival operations should organisers be focussing on.

It can be a challenge for music festival organisers to implement digital transformation within their entities. Festivals that have been going for years are often managed by an experienced crew of people who are used to doing things in a certain way. These ‘old hands’ know their events inside out and have adopted processes and procedures that work. There will undoubtedly be resistance to change in any attempt to transform the organisation with technology so training and education of staff is key to making any digital transformation work smoothly.

Ticketing and Marketing.
Electronic ticketing using online ticketing companies who use payment gateways and QR Code generated tickets has now been adopted by festival organisers globally. In just a few years the paper ticket has virtually disappeared and online ticketing companies now manage the payment and issuing of digital tickets in a seamless manner removing manual processes away from the festival staff. The move to online marketing for events has also changed dramatically with marketing teams now able to run highly targeted campaigns on social media and Google for example. Online digital advertising has now replaced most traditional marketing channels because it gives better return on investment on advertising spend.

On-site Transformation. 
Advances in mobile communication technology has led to many festival sites now installing a dedicated 5G mast that provides fast Wi-Fi connectivity for all on-site visitors. The availability of Wi-Fi connectivity and use of Bluetooth beacons has enabled the use of wristbands. These are issued to every visitor and contain data about their access permissions along with digital wallets enabling festival sites to become completely cashless. Festival dedicated apps have replaced printed maps and programme guides and many vendors now issue their menus onto mobile devices using QR Codes enabling contactless ordering too.

Operational Logistics. 
For music festival organisers many functions of the operational logistics can now be automated by using dedicated event management software. This transformation of processes and procedures for festival staff is still a challenge for many. Event management software can automate artist curation, booking and scheduling along with management of the advancing and rider process. Volunteer management can also be automated with dynamic scheduling for more efficient duty allocation. Many current processes are performed using spreadsheets and documents but they need to be maintained manually. In the digital transformation much of this data can now be automatically imported to event software that has been built specifically for event management.

All these digital transformation initiatives mean than the festival organisation can now generate huge volumes of data. If there is good analysis of this data it can help drive decision making for future events and planning processes increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

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 Canva Studio via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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