Leadership / 09.06.23
Taking Stock of the First Fully Open Festival Season in U.K. & Europe
Pollstar (09/05/23) Gottfried, Gideon
Last year marked the resurgence of live entertainment in Britain and Europe, yet post-COVID impacts and the Ukraine war added uncertainty, which has been addressed somewhat this year despite price hikes across event production and the continuing military conflict. Profitability remains elusive, with FKP Scorpio's Folkert Koopmans expecting just 20% of festivals worldwide to make money. Several European promoters reported price increases of up to 100% from suppliers and partners, while hikes of 20% to 50% and higher are the rule. This year is also notable for the many stadium tours that include mini-residencies at certain venues, with promoters worried about their potential cannibalization of small- to mid-size shows and festivals. Extreme weather has also been a standout feature of the 2023 festival season, and this year's International Festival Forum (IFF) will highlight weather and live entertainment prices. "One of the reasons we're looking forward to this year so much is that comes straight after the first fully open festival season, even if topics like bad weather will have replaced conversations about a global pandemic," said IFF organizer Greg Parmley. "Other topics include booking and the difficult task of finding the right headliners, especially given the competition from large indoor and stadium shows over the summer, and the expectations and behavior of audiences, which is clearly different post-COVID." Several European promoters have said that the newest crop of festivalgoers expect a lot more comfort than previously, and that these amenities should be included in the general admission ticket price.
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Tags: Leadership , Festivals