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Business Operational Trends for Music Festival Organisations in 2023.  

Andy Robertson

The business environment is in a very different place now compared to 2019 and understanding trends for the coming year is vital. The live events sector was especially hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic but new challenges are coming from rising inflation and wavering economies.


Music festival organisations plan their events well in advance and this is great in stable economic and market conditions. However, the political and business environments are under constant pressure and numerous factors are changing quickly and this can severely impact on any long-term plans.

Dynamic Planning. 
Good planning is part of business success but the current environment is changing rapidly and this requires a more dynamic approach to the planning process. This is particularly true of any forecasted budgets where estimates of costs and revenue can vary hugely from month to month. It may be prudent to review and revise any financial forecasts on a regular basis, at least monthly. Increased costs of borrowing and rising supplier costs are going to impact on any expected margins so where possible secure fixed term contracts with suppliers and artists well in advance. It may also be wise to hold off on announcing ticket prices until later in the process so that ticket sales revenue will at least covers costs.

Sustainability. 
Every music festival strives for robust sustainability policies but implementing these is becoming more of a challenge as pursuing them becomes less affordable. Waste management and cleaner power generation are the most visible aspects that a festival organisation can make to visibly demonstrate their commitment to operating a sustainable event. However, both of these initiatives are becoming more costly to implement and this may be reflected in higher ticket prices. Festival-goer perception is important so organisers may choose to pursue alternative sustainability initiatives that do not affect the bottom line but have high visibility.

Technology and Digital Transformation.
The use of technology in the music festival sector has seen great growth in recent years making event operations more efficient. If a music festival organisation is still relying on manual processes and paper tickets it’s time to seriously consider implementing technology to automate their operations. Any investment will quickly pay off in improved accuracy and efficiency for both festival-goers and organisers. Festival organisers should seriously consider moving away from spreadsheets and Google Docs and start using systems that can automate every aspect of event operations. Customer data should be on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system enabling accurate analysis and making future marketing campaigns more cost effective. Electronic ticketing and use of QR codes on festival sites for entrance and cashless payments for services is now the norm and is expected by festival-goers.

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 Wolfgang via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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