The Festival Industry


György Gogohija Student ID: 10013981 Word Count: 2394

1. social and technological issues and aspects of the event category.Introduction The aim of this report is to give general overview of the music festival industry in the UK. The festival brings together many artists from all around the world and is held in many locations as well. the stage that grew to be the world most prestigious headline spot of all festivals.000 visitors. A PEST analysis will be used to present the political. 1968 marks the first Isle Of Wight festival. By 1965 band like the Who and the Rolling Stones joined the bill turning it into a pop music festival and making it the ancestor of the current festival line-up. Glastonbury was launched in 1971. Furthermore key impacts and ethical concerns will be discussed along with careers within the festival business and future trends.. Before talking about music festivals in detail a definition: µA performance event compromising two or more live performances of pop music over one or more days recurring periods. In the beginning of the 80¶s The World Of Music And Dance (WOMAD) festival was started. Mintel and Keynote reports and Online articles and interviews. All three of the above mentioned festivals are held yearly up to this date. The world¶s largest open field festival. which is packaged as a coherent whole¶(Ali-Knight et al. What makes WOMAD different is that its main objective is to introduce new music to their audience from artists they don¶t know to gain insight into cultures other than their own.000 ticket sales. The research methodology integrates academic research from books available through London Metropolitan University¶s Library Services.000 attendees and lasted only one day. economical.History And Development Of The Festival Industry The beginning of the UK festival industry can be tracked back to the Reading Jazz and Blues Festival which started in 1961. It was the first festival that attracted nationwide interest. 2009) 2. The festival only had 10. They also introduced the Pyramid stage in 1971.Analysis Of The Factors In Music Festivals (PEST Analysis) . The festival grew dramatically one year later when Bob Dylan¶s headline performance drew 150. An Innovation came in the form of V Festival which had the acts playing simultaneously in two different locations in the north and the south of the UK so that fans could attend the festival regardless of their location. The sheer size of this event caused the government to pass the Isle of Wight Act which banned all festivals on the isle until 2002. 3. The report will deal with the history and development of the industry. Jimmy Hendrix¶s headline performance produced 600.

which cost £147. Different authorities give different licenses regarding maximum number of attendees and size.2 Economic Factors After the credit crunch youth unemployment increased meaning the major festival going demographic cant afford the ticket prices that are already projected to increase. (Mintel. With the economic downturn people cant . Tickets to festivals such as Glastonbury. Customers selling their tickets after buying them from the promoters put and average 32% markup on the ticket prices. were sold at ticketing agencies for £477 after the festival sold out in 2005. These cuts include the termination of public workplaces and reduction of financial support in education leave the UK population with less disposable income hence making festival goers a lot more careful with their spending.1 Political Factors: Since the Licensing Act of 2003 all festivals need to obtain licenses to be able to operate. Festivals and concerts are considered affordable escapism.3 Social Factors Most festival visitors are part of the ABC1 socio-economic groups. These licenses can be gained from their respective local authorities. Although PRS suggested reductions on the tariff to festivals where camping is included in the ticket price. However all licenses address the following issues: y y y y The prevention of crime and disorder Public safety The prevention of public nuisance The protection of children from harm Most of these problems are taken care of by the police department. Another factor that has to be taken into account for festival promoters is the volatility of the international exchange rates If they want to feature bands from abroad. (Mintel. The most popular genre was Pop/Rock with 60% of the asked calling it their favorite. 2009) Some recent government decisions also had a large impact on the festival industry. According to Mintel 37% of adults have visited a festival or a concert in the past year. The most important political factor is the planned public cuts by the government. 2010) 3. It also has to be taken into account that while the number of concertgoers decreased the festival industry is still experiencing growth. The 2011 January VAT increase caused the already expensive ticket prices to increase even further. The Performing Right Society for music (PRS for Music) is planning to raise tariffs payable to songwriters by promoters leading to higher ticket prices. Festivals have to pay the policing fees and there have been examples of cases where a festival was canceled do to a triple in policing fees.. (Ali-Knight et al. As it has been mentioned before ticket prices are constantly rising as promoters try to test the upper limits of what people are prepared to spend to attend festivals. This practice is called secondary ticketing. Not only promoters like to increase prices. 2010) 3.3.

2005) This creates a sense of community which binds a group together as participants in larger culture and provides an opportunity to engage in social activites (Firth. 2009) 3. (Mintel. 2002) 4.afford going abroad on holidays but going to festivals is a good value for money alternative. 1996. With more and more britts acquiring smartphones a greener form of ticketing has been introduced in the form of paperless ticketing. political and economic impact.000 people were turned away from the gates of Reading festival last year due to ticket fraud.Key Impacts and Ethical Concerns Like all events festivals have social. 2003.Thanks to the internet buying tickets got a lot easier for festival goers. (Ali-Knight et al. s (Oakes. The most common negative effect associated with music festivals is substance abuse. 2010) 4. Unfortunately not everything is positive about the internet. environmental. mood enhancement and spiritual functions (Sloboda&O¶Neill. These fake tickets cost £15 million in damages to festival goers last year. 2001). eBay and seatwave help customers purchase tickets to festivals they thought to be sold out. There is a lot research into these impact to maximize the benefits of festivals and to learn from earlier management mistakes (Allen. Gibson & Connell. Secondary ticketing sites like viagogo. While festival attendees might not participate by making music but they camp and live around music for several days and immerse themselves in the festival all. It has also become easier to promote festivals with the help of social networks such as facebook. 2005) Unfortunately festivals have negative effects as well. The physical proximity of the performer and the social interaction with other attendees is important to participants. 2006. These impacts can be positive and negative.4 Technological Factors The home broadband penetration in the UK has reached 81% in 2010. Drug and alcohol is consumed in large quantities during these events.(Mintel.1 Social Impacts Festivals offer a shared experience to their attendees while introducing them to new and different cultures in the form of music and other entertainment formats.2010) There are more festivals organized in the southern part of the country because the population is denser and wealthier. J. They can buy their tickets online from the comfort of their home instead of queuing in front of ticket offices.2 Enviornmental Impacts .. According to Sloboda and O¶niell active participation in music contributes to identity development by providing a medium for self expression. Paleo & Wijnberg. 2009) 4. Festival promoters have taken note of the issue for example promoters of Wickerman festival in Scotland used their website and the media to warn about the dangers of drug abuse. A lot of secondary ticketing is happening over the internet as well. Most fraudulent tickets are sold over the internet. twitter and myspace. Pitts.(BBC. Over 10. Instead of presenting printed tickets customers can show reference codes on their cellphone accompanied by the credit/debit card which was used to buy the ticket.

6 million and offsite spending directly linked to the festival totaled at £26. Festivalgoers leave a sea of plastic cups and packaging materials in their wake. The Guardian.The total spending at the festival was £25. With effective promotions festival attendees can lengthen their stay at the host location and visit other regional tourism destinations. According to the founder of Glastonbury festival Michael Eavis µThe environmental impact of festivals is disastrous. N. In addition to their spending at the event they are going to spend money on accommodation. The mayor received a lot of criticism for the decision because it was contradictory to what he stated a year ago about the important role of festival in bringing together London¶s community. Key Ethical Concerns Ticket fraud is phenomenon that is causing a lot of headache for festival promoters. For example Islington Council¶s Trading . 2009) 4. Smaller festivals like Whychwood are trying to reduce their carbon footprint by using low-energy light bulbs and the use of daylight sensors to make sure the lights only come on when they are needed. festivals require environmental impact assessment before receiving their license. This money can boost the economy of the town or even the country where these events are held. 4.500 people attended the festival with an average spending of £293. food and services. Isle Wight festivals organizers were also negotiating a deal which involved the planting of 50. The festival was canceled after mayor Boris Johnson dismayed the festivals two main sponsors Unison and Unite by removing the antiracism message form the festivals promotional material. 177.3 Political Impacts Governments around the world have realized that large scale event like festivals can raise the profile of the countries and cities where they are held.4 Tourism and Economic Impacts Festivals attract a lot to tourists to their location. Temporary secondary ticketing websites creep out of the woodwork when a festival is sold out. According to Johnson¶s director of art policy the decision was made because they thought its not appropriate for political organizations to involve in community programs. one for each festivalgoer. The festival organisers Glastonbury Festivals Associated spent £21. (Mendip District Council. The two combined gives us a £52 million figure.¶(Hasted.000 trees after the festival. (Mullholand.5 million. travel. The Independent 2008). Other ways to try and decrease the damage is the usage of biodegradable cutlery with food served at festivals. Some festivals can be canceled due to political decisions as well. However. This happened in the case of London¶s Rise festival. Unsuspecting customers pay for fraudulent tickets or they just don¶t receive their tickets on their arrival. 2008) 5. This figure was made up of the following parts.2 million on the preparation of the event.Not all views are so grim on the subject.Music festivals create a great opportunity to showcase their host countries characteristics. According to Mendip District Council the economic impact of Glastonbury festival in 2007 was £73 million. As these materials are not biodegradable their collection is essential. H.

246.(2006. Stage managers deal with their stage¶s technical staff. . 247) Stage managers are in charge of individual stages at festivals. They control the loudness and other characteristics of sound through a mixer. Promoters work closely with agents to find out when their artists are available to perform and how much they charge for playing. After choosing the artist the promoters next main objective is to get in touch with their agent. 2008) Customers are expecting the government to regulate ticket sales but there were no measures taken yet. stewards at Glastonbury festival received basic health and safety training. Their responsibilities vary from festival to festival but the most common duties include ticket collection and rubbish collection. creative and production staff. Promoters have to consider many factors in choosing their acts and venues. By May she is going over contracts and making sure she can acquire the right kind of lighting/sound/ equipment. The critical points in choosing acts are the number of people that are interested in seeing them and the target audience they appeal to. Stage techs work with patch masters to make sure the stage equipment is working properly. Stewards are the least trained among festival staff. BBC.(Ideas Tap) Promoters work closely with festival directors. They require excellent organizational and administrative skills but the most important skill the require is social skills. Promoters choose which acts they want to perform and they are in charge of choosing the venue and taking care of all the details of the event. Often they volunteer for free tickets to events instead of getting paid.Careers To run a successful festival the co-operation of many professionals and volunteers is needed. I. September is when the event is held she meets and greets artists and runs the artist liaison team. According to Sofia Hagberg the director of End Of The Road festival in Dorset. The understanding of how audio equipment works is required and they also have to be familiar with health and safety regulations. The Patch master is the person responsible for everything to be connected properly. The third role is the monitor engineers also known as soundman. This allows the next band to prepare as another band is playing. Usually patch masters come in pairs as there are two control systems at each stage. Sound Staff It¶s the sound staffs job to make sure that the bands are heard loud an clearly. They have to know which current acts are popular to make a profitable event. Recently. By January she has most of her acts confirmed and she begins confirming and announcing artists. In July she spends her time ordering riders and proofreading the festivals promotional content. 6.Team have investigated a case where 800 people were defrauded at V festival in 2008. her role involves meeting bands agents and making offers around October. Their job description tasks them with the advancement of production information. The most important role is the festival directors. There are plans to train stewards in emergency evacuations. fires and bomb threats.(Youngs. front of house staff. Usually bands travel with their own soundman but if they don¶t have one monitor engineers are the people responsible for the concerts sound characteristics.

S. (2009) Ideas Tap: Job Of The Week [Online]. Cleveland. Ladkin. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Music Business Handbook And Career Guide. Boris Johnson scraps multicultural music festival Rise [Online]. Lice Sound Production For Glastonburys Pyramid Stage [Online]. Sloboda (Eds. (1996). BBC (2009) Festival Targets µparty drug¶ Use [Online]. In P.html Isle Of Wight http://www.htm (accessed: 7/5/11) Reading http://www. (2001). Going Green On The Festival Scene[Online]. Harris. Available at: http://news. W. Music and tourism: On the road again.independent. J. M. F. I. M (2009) Preforming McDonnel. & Wijnberg. O. 73M Impact Of Glastonbury [Online].fatreg. I. Oxford: Oxford University London: Elsevier Science Allen.. N. (2005).com/v-info/v-history .gov. J. (2008) The Guardian. Thousand Oaks: London. N. (2006).html Mullholand. R. C. Juslin & J. A. (2005) Festival & Special Event Management (3rd ed) Australia:John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd. OH: Channel View Publications Sloboda.glastonburyfestivals. 415±430). Performing rites: On the value of popular music. 8(2). Classification of popular music festivals: A typology of festivals and an inquiry into their role in the construction of music genres. 8th ed. H. A.mendip. Fyall. Fan Fury Over Festival Rip Off Glastonbury [Online]. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://www. New Delhi: Sage Publications Gibson. N. S. D.aspx Glasto: I. Oxford: Oxford University Womad (1996).com/pm/feb09/articles/glastonbury. Robertson. & Connell.. Performing rites: On the value of popular (accessed: 4/5/11) Annon. (2008) (accessed: 7/5/11) 50±81 Frith.stm (accessed: 9/4/11) Hasted.2006.).References: Ali-Kinght.. (2009) The J. (2009) International Perspectives of Festivals and Events Paradigms of Analysis Amsterdam. Available at: International Journal of Arts Management.. Available at: http://www. (accessed: 7/5/11) Lethby. Available at: http://www. S. O¶ (accessed: 7/5/11) Annon (2008) Mendip District Council. Music and emotion: Theory and research (pp. Available at: http://www. Emotions in everyday listening to music. V fest http://www. & O¶Neill. M. Available at: http://0academic. (2010) Music Concerts And Festivals ± UK ± August 2010 [online] splay/id=544051 [Accessed 5//2010] .

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