How To

Music Jobs – The Festival Promoter

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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Do you enjoy attending music festivals watching all your favourite bands in one place? The festival promoter has booked all of these acts after a long time of research and planning as to why these acts would be great for their festival audience. And although you’re there once a year, the festival promoter hasn’t actually stopped working since the previous year. One festival finishes, the planning for the next begins…

Many huge festivals (such as Glastonbury) have their own team of promoters who take charge of such responsibilities. Other festivals such as Reading and Leeds, which are run by big event promotion company ‘Festival Republic’, also have their own employed team who work all year around to deliver the best festival for their audience.

Do Your Research!

When the festival promoters begin their job, its important that research takes place in to the acts they have in mind to book. This research consists of synching the festival show with any album releases or publicity spotlights so the excitement of the artist transposes to the festival. This will help with the marketing strategy of the festival as well as ultimately, selling more tickets. Booking the right bands for the festival is absolute key, as a marketing strategy would already be in place in terms of target audience, so the artists must match this to draw them in. For instance, Beyoncé wouldn’t be a suitable booking for Rock and Metal event, Download Festival.

When it comes to booking acts, there’s not always a sole focus on famous and chart-topping artists (although this is the main selling point). A lot of festivals book a number of local acts to build their reputation of nurturing local talent by showcasing them alongside internationally famous artists. One example of this would be Isle of Wight Festival, which showcases a number of local bands across their small boutique stages. But of course this becomes more dominant in smaller festivals that have smaller budgets and reputations. Local bands are a great way of attracting and winning over local residents and helps to create huge excitement for the artists themselves.

Making Money…

Ultimately, festival promoters make money from the ticket sales of the event. The ticket sale numbers are dependent on the quality of artists that are booked, so the higher the quality and the higher the reputation of the bookings, the more income potential for the promoters. In essence, this is a very similar model to live promoters at music venues. Although employed promotion teams may be paid a wage/salary, the actual promoter companies make money through ticket sales. This may differ from boutique festivals where individual promoters may be the same person(s) who actually started the festival, so their money comes from the overall festival profits.

Consider the Competition

When festival promoters book the acts for the upcoming festival, a number of fundamentals are on their mind. This will be competition, and the current trends within music. One example of these trends is Reading & Leeds Festival booking Arctic Monkeys to headline the 2014 event shortly after the famous Alex Turner Brit Award speech.

To stand out against competition and to secure the current trends at the festival in question will put them at the forefront of summer festival saga. With so many festivals throughout the year all over the world, the battle to be the biggest and best will continue in order to gain the highest possible ticket sales. This being where the festival promoter gains their money, and the long, hard work pays off.

On a side note, here at Music Gateway the live sector is a keen area of interest for us so make sure you sign up for free today so we can notify you of any exciting festival slots that we post as a project in the future!

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