Spent the day at the UK Festival Conference yesterday, very interesting day with all the key players from across the industry together. A two minute summary/key points list around the different sessions below:
The Crime Busters
- Partnership between festival organisers, security teams and the police is working very well with lots of up front intelligence.
- Online ticket scams remain an issue, educate the ticket buyers
- Festivals are very safe with much lower crime rates than typical towns and cities
- One area of concern is organised criminals targeting smaller festivals now that the big festivals have well developed crime prevention
Non-Ticketed Events Should Be Banned
- Overall opinion was heavily in favour of ‘No’ but with some strong points (below)
- They must be organised by professional, experienced event management companies
- Understanding the environment, location, draw, capacity, contingency factors are all paramount
- Licence granters must not be the organisers
Best Practice for Leveraging Brand Activity at Festivals Without Selling Out
- Expect another year of reducing budgets
- Move is much more towards ‘experiential’ (hate that word) i.e. tangible benefit to attendees
- It’s now more than just the attendees, it’s the whole position of the event within the market (especially online) with an appreciation of the broader number of followers
- Looking for year round association, not just the few days of the event
UK Festival Market Report 2010
- Market still growing, although exact data hard to define (approx 700 festivals)
- PRS, Government Policy & Policing costs all possible issues
- Average age of festival goers 31, average age of ‘first timer’ 18
- Average spend £363 (inc ticket)
- Average attendance 2.1 festivals pa
- Biggest ‘downers’ – bands that clash, cost of food and drink
- Reasons for choosing – line-up, being with friends, organisation
- More of – cashless payment, Wi-Fi, festival information and of course toilets.
Making Your Festival More Profitable
- Big variance and issue around policing costs, no easy answer
- Focus on the bottom line from day 1!
- Build and grow in a controlled fashion – you will not get 50,000 people in year 1!
- Build partnerships and trust with suppliers, who grow with your festival
Battle of the Bands
- Promoters want the cost of bands to come down, agencies want then to go up!
- Market is changing now that a bands primary income is touring/festivals rather than album sales
- Many bands are on the road continuously leading to a ‘staleness’, hence more reunion bands as they are attractive as they haven’t been on the road for a few years
- It’s not all about the headliners, increasingly it’s about the whole festival experience and ‘like minded’ attendees
Dispatches from the Field
- It isn’t easy getting to the top, there is no quick route other than a lot of hard work and a true passion for festivals!