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Future-proofing the Music Festival.

Andy Robertson

One of the biggest challenges currently is how music festivals can remain relevant, sustainable, and successful in the long term. What are the key considerations for festival organisers wishing to future-proof their music festival so that it is able to constantly adapt to whatever the future may bring.

It can be difficult for festival organisers to think about the future of their event when they are just trying to survive year on year. However, they should at least consider how their festival will survive well into the future by taking time to plan for a sector that is constantly evolving where only the strong make it. Future-proofing a music festival is a way of planning that can contribute towards survival. 

The use of technology in the music festival sector is moving ever faster and organisers need to adapt and embrace developments to make their events accessible and more efficient. Implementing cashless payments and using RFID technology can improve operational efficiency and make for a smoother festival experience as well as being more secure. Having a useable dedicated mobile App is expected by festival-goers and is a must have tool for the modern music festival. If this can be linked to an event management software system, the organisers can make seamless real time changes as well as enabling logistical efficiency from planning to implementation of an event. Technological advances in Live Streaming and Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities also enable music festival organisers to provide access to performances for those unable to attend.

This was an active buzzword in 2023 and although other world events have grabbed media attention in recent times it is still vitally important to music festivals. Transportation is still considered one of the biggest contributors to a festival's carbon footprint and organisers should focus on tackling this by encouraging more use of public transport. Most festivals already have numerous initiatives to make their events eco-friendly with recycling programmes and a ‘leave no trace’ policy. Use of greener more sustainable power generation is still a big challenge despite use of solar and wind power. Stage power requirements still need generators to get the necessary output, but organisers can consider using greener biofuels or hydrogen for example. 

Embracing DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) as a festival policy is encouraged and becoming standard amongst most music festival organisations. This should include staff, vendors, sponsors and the artist curation process. This ensures that the music festival can reach a larger broader audience by including a diverse range of people. 

Flexibility and Trends. 
Building contingency plans for unforeseen events like adverse weather and pandemics can make the organisation better prepared for the future. Part of this planning process should include an element of flexibility and the ability to react to rapidly changing trends. This can impact on the line-ups curated, sustainability policies, ticketing policies and use of technology. 

Other Future-proofing Considerations. 
Organisers should consider how their event can diversify potential revenue streams by making changes to what they offer. Exploring alternative sponsorship or partnership collaborations can help preserve long term financial security. By implementing a policy of continuous improvement festival organisers can gain a better understanding of elements that need attention highlighted by all parties involved. Feedback from festival-goers, artists, suppliers, vendors, sponsors and staff can help to build a picture of how well or badly a music festival is performing.

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.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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