The Problems Facing UK Music Festival Organisers

The Problems Facing UK Music Festival Organisers

Across the UK, the range of different music festivals on offer every year has become a testament to the popularity of this ever-evolving tradition. At this point, there are close to 1,000 music festivals every year in the UK. Outdoor festivals vary greatly in scale and the kinds of entertainment on offer, but there’s certainly something for everyone at this point. People are even willing to travel around the world to attend their favourite festivals.

So what is it about standing in a muddy field for an entire day that tens of thousands of people love so much? Well, as long as you have enough endurance, a music festival is basically a continuous stream of fun and entertainment. Not only do you have a chance to see sometimes dozens of different headliners, but the exciting atmosphere, fun and food on offer can make for a truly memorable experience.

Of course, the fans do keep the biggest festivals going, but they’re not supplying the majority of the cash to do so in many cases. In addition to ticket sales, sponsorship is a crucial source of revenue for almost all festivals.

Global brands often receive criticism for their overbearing presence at music festivals, which is usually a result of massive funding they offer in exchange for advertising space. Once they buy this presence, brands are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways to actually connect with music fans at the event and blend in seamlessly with the experience.

This is especially important for businesses looking to connect with millennials, who represent over half of the attendees at the average music festival. Part of their strategy is increasingly focusing on social media, as this is a potentially unlimited way to increase brand exposure exponentially as people share and re-share their status updates, photos and videos.

Music festivals are a fantastic way for guests to explore and discover new music that they wouldn’t have otherwise paid attention to. However, the real draw for both fans and promoters is a festival that gets the biggest names. Competition is fierce for festivals looking to book the most popular acts, as they represent guaranteed a stream of guests into the event (and revenue into their pockets).

Festivals are willing to pay huge amounts of money to secure exclusive headliners in order to secure those ticket sales and the later revenue that comes with those guests. The problem is that headline acts are few and far between with the number of festivals competing against each other. Balancing the need to book highly popular performers against keeping ticket prices affordable is a tricky business for organisers.

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