It is necessary to draw up a budget to organise a festival, like any other event. Anticipation and meticulous management will allow you to organise an event that lives up to your expectations (and those of the attendees).
The cost of these events can add up quickly! In order not to have to rely on your own funds, it is essential that you think about how to finance your festival from the beginning.
By reading this article, explore the different funding possibilities available to you and find the ones that fit your project and your ambitions.
1. Sponsorships and partnerships
Depending on the type of event, your audience and the venue, you can look for organisations that can provide financial or material help.
Prepare a presentation of your festival, including the advantages of becoming your sponsor, and send it to different brands, companies and institutions.
Whether the support received is financial, material or as a service, it will always be proportional to the value that the collaboration brings them. It is, therefore, in your interest to make your proposal attractive!
“Receiving support through partnerships allows us to do even more beautiful and bigger things.” Julien Gaona Co-organiser — Positiv Festival
Once you have signed several contracts, why not invite all your partners to a small event to thank them for their participation? You may also consider offering them an exclusive VIP area during the event.
For Arnaud Lavergne, Director of Partnerships at the French festival We Love Green, partnerships are “a relationship of trust”. The idea is to build loyalty so that the agreements negotiated are renewed year after year.
2. Patrons and public funds
If your event has an artistic focus, there might be companies interested in supporting you as patrons. Find out about companies that offer this type of support to festivals of the same kind as yours and present your project to them.
Likely, public funds are also available to subsidise initiatives positively impacting citizens; do not hesitate to apply for any that may fit your project.
3. Usage rights
Many festival organisers offer the possibility for external providers to offer their services during the event. They can be food stalls (food trucks), services (make-up, temporary tattoos, etc.) or sales of various products.
Explore the possibility of charging usage rights (licenses…) to professionals who want to participate in your event and who will make a profit from it. Restaurants, shops, artisans… Many professionals may be interested in your festival to offer their products or services to attendees.
4. Donations and crowdfunding
Appeal to the generosity of individuals and investors to raise extra funds to finance the organisation of your festival.
Don’t rule out donations as part of your fundraising strategy! You can use your own network or even present your project on a crowdfunding platform.
5. Ticket sales
To finance part of your festival and make it possible to organise it, you can charge for attending!
You can easily manage registrations or ticket sales for your event using online ticketing software. In addition to tracking sales as they happen (and therefore easily knowing the total number of attendees), using an online ticketing service allows you to start generating revenue even before the festival gates open.
Tip: Weezevent transfers your ticket revenue to you every 15 days, allowing you to reinvest the money raised in other expenditure items!
Consider a staggered launch strategy (early bird tickets) and make it attractive (various promotions) to sell more tickets.
6. On-site sales
The above-mentioned possible funding ideas allow you to generate income before your festival. But, of course, you also have to consider what festival-goers will spend during the festival. It is common to offer paid products and services such as food and beverages, merchandising, exclusive activities, etc., allowing you to generate additional income.
Tip: The cashless system is a technology specially designed to facilitate the management of cash flows during a festival. We advise you to find out more about its advantages and determine, with the advice of your supplier, whether it is suitable for your event.
Why implement cashless technology at a festival?
“Whenever I talk about cashless, I always give the same example: if I want 3 beers, 2 Breizh Cola, 1 Orangina, and I return 2 glasses, how much do I owe you? Hurry up; there’s a queue! Nobody has ever been able to give me an answer… Nowadays, this is not even a question; the cashless terminal does the work for you. For us, cashless has, above all, made it possible to simplify the work of volunteers and limit errors”. Jérôme Tréhorel, Director of the Vieilles Charrues Festival
As we have just seen, there are many options to get funding for your festival. To read more about organising a festival, read our article “How to organise a festival in 8 steps”.
Want to go deeper? Download the “Festival organiser’s practical guide”, a free white paper with rich and varied content to guide you through all stages of your festival.