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Balancing Music Festival Affordability with Sustainability.

Andy Robertson

Some music festival organisers have been struggling to turn a profit as costs rise and festival-goers look for cheaper options. A significant cost that has increasingly been hitting this sector is the need to achieve sustainability goals. How can organisers balance the need to run sustainable events and yet keep their events affordable for potential ticket buyers.

Festival-goers have been more discerning in choosing music festivals to attend in the post pandemic period. Consumers have been dealing with the rising cost of living combined with static incomes which has been limiting their disposable income for things like music festival attendance. In the same period public opinion has increasingly demanded that festivals be more sustainable. Achieving sustainability goals for festival organisers does not come cheap and is just another cost to consider. What options do organisers have to make their events both affordable and sustainable. 

Sustainability Costs.
Implementing sustainability initiatives for music festivals will come at an additional cost over traditional expenses. Building temporary structures from sustainably sourced or recycled materials can be more expensive. Waste management costs will increase as contractors now have to deal with sorting and disposal of waste according to strict criteria. Commissioning food and beverage vendors to provide organic ingredients along with required sustainability requirements can increase the final cost charged to festival-goers. Providing power from green sources like solar, wind and biofuels can be costly and less efficient than traditional diesel generators and often does not generate sufficient power needed for stage lighting and amplification. 

Affordability Initiatives. 
Organisers can try various approaches to keep the cost of festival tickets at reasonable levels. This may include discounted ticket prices for financially challenged groups or offering payment plans to help spread costs. Launching ticket discounts for festival-goers who can demonstrate their contribution to sustainability which may include use of public transport or bringing refillable water containers vs single use plastics for example. Organisers can try partnering with relevant organisations who can supply free of charge biodegradable catering and bathroom essentials in exchange for gratis sponsorship deals. 

Balancing Sustainability and Affordability. 
Festival organisers can target different sponsors for their event by seeking out those with a high sustainability agenda where sponsor revenue gets directed to eco-friendly initiatives. A tiered ticket scheme with optional charges for carbon footprint offsets can keep the ticket cost down for those on a budget but allows for a suitable contribution from those that can afford it. Organisers can meet their sustainability objectives by getting all site visitors to adhere to certain practices. This will involve a certain amount of education and communication with festival-goers, vendors, sponsors and contractors. Being sustainable and affordable is a fine balancing act for festival organisers but with sufficient focus on both aspects it can be possible to produce a sustainable event at a reasonable price for 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.

Image by StockSnap via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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