Most festival attendees approach their big weekend expecting a perfect utopia of music, friends, food, and absolutely no hassle whatsoever. Rarely does it quite pan out quite so perfectly! As a festival organizer, there are many factors you can control that will influence the mood of your attendees. While it might be more fun to focus on the big items—artists and food, for example—you don’t want to ignore some seemingly “less important” things that can have major consequences later on. Here are some of the top things that everyone hates about festivals, and how you can avoid them at your festival!
Everyone Hates High Prices
The average festival experience is extremely expensive. With tickets ranging from $200 to well over $500, food and drink easily ballooning over $10 per item, and the myriad of other costs woven into the experience, it’s no surprise that fans are feeling the pinch. In our State of Live market report, 60.1% of fans we surveyed cited the high cost of attending festivals as their primary frustration, and 78.7% of fans said that they would attend more festivals if the tickets were cheaper.
By incorporating RFID for cashless into your festival you’ll be able to not only cut the wait times at the bar (see below…) but also dramatically increase spend per customer. This will allow you to pass the savings back onto the fans via cheaper tickets or by lowering the cost of concessions on-site.
Everyone Hates Lines
Long wait times are something that everyone hates about festivals and live events. Slashing wait times to be as fast as possible should be a high priority for any festival organizer. In our State of Live report, we found that 58% of those surveyed cited long lines as their biggest festival frustration. “I think most people expect lines, and don’t mind as long as they seem to be managed well. What is less expected are long queues for food, drinks and toilets inside the festival,“ said Jessi, writer for UK festival blog Where’s My Tent?
“This can be a real pain. I’ve gotten lost when it’s taken ages at the bar and I can’t find my friends afterwards,” she adds. “I’ve noticed events regularly miscalculate how many amenities are needed for festivals of various capacities.”
But it’s not just a buzzkill. Having long wait times at the bar severely hurts your bottom line. The longer it takes to purchase your drink, food, merch, or ticket, the less revenue your festival is bringing in. Cashless payments is the answer to this much-griped festival problem. By implementing RFID wristbands, your festival can bring the transaction time down to as little as 10-15 seconds, whilst increasing onsite spending by up to 87%.
Everyone Hates a Lack of Shade
Most festivals take place during the hot summer months and having adequate shade for your fans is a necessity. But this isn’t something that you as a festival organizer need to fret about paying for. Why not work closely with one of your partnering brands to ensure that they are being integrated into the event in a way that is both meaningful, and will generate some positive engagement for the brand? Check out the awesome two-story tree house lounge that Somersby Cider put together at the WayHome Music and Arts Festival!
In our interview with Goldenvoice’s activations and logistics specialist Michael Ilves, he recounted the success of Vans’ simple activation at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. “Vans looked at the festival and knew that there wasn’t enough shade or seating. So they put up a 50×50 tent, threw some branded benches and the spot was full all weekend!” Ilves told Intellitix. If your fans are going to be out walking, drinking and dancing in the sun for three days, you need to make sure that there are plenty of shaded or air conditioned areas where they can camp out and recuperate. It’s worth spending a little extra to ensure their comfort and safety.
Everyone Hates Gross Bathroom and Shower Facilities
Unkempt bathroom facilities is something everyone hates about festivals. Clean bathrooms aren’t likely to bag you any headlines, but it will show your audience that you don’t want them enduring squalor. Experience and comfort are at the core of the festival experience, and events that refuse to put a little extra attention into keeping the facilities clean will be left behind. You can even turn the bathrooms into an activation like Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival did with their brand sponsor, Kohler.
Bonnaroo takes place on a farm in rural Tennessee and is the largest camping and music festival in the US. Attendees are going to get dirty. In 2016, Kohler installed 474 shower heads at the festival’s 10 shower locations. The company gave guests the chance to win a shower head through on-site giveaways, and amplified their reach online with their Instagram account @kohlershowerparty. This was a genius way to address festival goers pain points while also providing memorable interactions with the brand.
Everyone Hates Getting Lost in the Campsite
If you’ve ever wandered deliriously around a field of tents at 3 am, you’ll understand how distressing it can be. Unfortunate situations like this are easily avoided by signposting your campsite and keeping the pathways nicely lit. Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis do a great job of turning their campsite into a mini city grid, with street names and intersections to help you navigate your way around.
To add to the festival ambience, strings of light lead attendees through the grounds and provided visual markers. After a long, hard day and night of partying, it is imperative that signage is clear and plentiful. Otherwise you might have a campground full of lost wandering souls after dark.