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Music Festival VIP Operations Management.

Andy Robertson

Every music festival offers some form of VIP package to festival-goers as part of their ticketing options. VIP packages have been increasing in popularity as festival-goers have more disposable income and seek to escape from wet muddy fields. How can organisers mange this important aspect of the modern-day music festival.

Demand for VIP experiences is increasing as festival-goers want the comforts of home combined with preferential access, the chance to meet performance artists and a desire to avoid the legendary queues often seen at festivals. The VIP experience can be managed as its own profit centre within the festival entity with good revenues balanced against costs incurred.

Roles and Responsibilities. 
A large music festival will usually appoint someone to manage their VIP experiences with key responsibilities to ensure great services are provided and that packages sell out. The VIP manager will need to build services and experiences that festival-goers want and usually focus on fast-track entrance, preferential viewing, luxury accommodation and bathrooms, seated catering and backstage access. In addition, the VIP offering needs to be packaged and sold using marketing campaigns to generate sales.

Accommodation and Catering.
Luxury tents, Yurts and temporary cabins are often part of the VIP package and are located in dedicated zones away from general camping areas but close to stages and catering facilities. Catering can be in temporary restaurants within marquees and meals can be scheduled or on demand so VIP festival-goers can avoid long queues for questionable burgers. Organisers can issue allocated meal tickets or an all you can eat basis using a scanned VIP pass.

Access Control.
The VIP management team will need to assign the correct pass types to each VIP buyer which usually takes the form of a QR code on a mobile device. Access is checked by scanning at secure entrances for accommodation, catering, backstage areas and preferential viewing platforms.

Artist Management. 
Whilst most festival organisers prefer to keep all their artists separated form music fans some artists are ok with mixing with VIP customers and they will often have similar access passes anyway. Organisers can specify in booking terms and conditions that artists conduct meet and greets with VIP festival-goers but this is usually done on a case-by-case basis.

Whilst the demand for VIP packages increases some industry commentators have been vocal about their opposition to such schemes. It does create a them and us scenario and does not really promote an inclusive society. Some performance artists have been equally critical of VIP packages and will refuse to mix with buyers of these packages. Despite these challenges the VIP package remains one of the most profitable elements of the music festival.

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 Pete Linforth via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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