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Music Festival Organisers and the Post Event Review.

Andy Robertson

As the summer festival season draws to an end it’s time for music festival organisers to conduct a thorough review of their event. This is an essential process that helps to identify what went well and what did not and the results can be incorporated into the planning process for future events.


There is no perfectly run music festival, whilst festival-goers may perceive a slick and well-run event there will always be numerous problems occurring behind the scenes. It is essential that organisers conduct a timely review post event to understand the cause of any problems and what actions can be taken to rectify them for next year’s festival. The review process should include staff from every function of the business along with a formal reporting and assessment format. 

Media coverage.
I
t should be the job of someone in the marketing team to monitor and compile any media coverage form the festival. This should include all channels whether it’s printed, online or broadcast media. Media coverage should include all positive and negative stories along with responses issued by the festival organisers. It may useful to conduct further analysis of public response to any coverage to gauge how well and timely the organiser’s response was.

Cost Management. 
The finance team should have a full analysis of planned expenditure vs. actual spend as this will determine the profitability of running the event. This analysis needs a pragmatic approach as some unexpected additional spend may have been essential to the running of the event. There needs to be a good understanding of why any overspend was not anticipated in contingency planning. This will assist in making more accurate financial forecasts for future events.

Artist Performance. 
For music festivals that curate hundreds of artists an assessment of their performance will help guide line-up choices for the next festival. Detailed research may be required amongst festival-goers to provide feedback on each artist's performance and the results should also be considered along with any related media coverage too. In addition to performance assessment, it is also useful to consider how difficult or easy the artist is to manage in terms of advances and riders to arrive at an overall decision on future bookings.

Logistical Issues. 
It is often problems with the logistics and operational delivery than can lead to bad press, delays, complaints and budget overspends. Operational staff need to assess how all their contractors performed in terms of quality and timely deliveries. Problems with contractors can vary from late deliveries to backline equipment that is old with low quality sound for example. Were all the contractors and volunteers sufficiently trained and did they perform their duties as expected? A failure in any of these operational functions can lead to adverse media coverage and budget overspend.

Planning for 2023. 
Consideration of every aspect and function of the music festival should enable a final report to be produced. It is essential that everyone working for the festival entity fully appraises themselves of the event review to understand what lessons can be learnt. This knowledge needs to used when planning for their future festivals to improve the event’s success and financial performance.

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 Markus Winkler via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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