What do you do when you don't sell enough tickets?

Not too sure of the ins and outs, but from what AI gather, yes they did have a cancellation policy. They opened on the Friday. The river next to the event rose beyond the banks on the second day due to really heavy rain much further upstream over night. The field was very adequately drained, but unfortunately the local h and s team at the council, strongly advised them to close ‘to be safe’.

They ignored the advice, but the council came down harder, and thus their insurers didn’t pay out as they had actually opened.

The field never flooded, the river never burst it’s banks either :frowning: think there was a battle in court but they lost. Hence the silverwear was sold.

How stressful and upsetting for all involved.

Well that is a cautionary story worth sharing. You’d think if you had cancellation insurance, you’d be covered regardless.

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wouldn’t it be amoral to cancel it? I mean, I understand that not selling tickets means losing money etc. but that’s how you gain people’s trust IMO. I have a friend who lost money by not selling enough tickets and yet, she continued. on the next event she had at least thrice as much people because they respected her. again just my opinion

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Well I think you’d have to weigh it up; if you weren’t going to turnover enough to pay the suppliers that would also be amoral. If you can make a loss but still pay everyone, then yes it might make sense to go ahead and give tickets to selected people free of charge in order to build the event up for next time.

One thing I consistently found when we used to do last minute giveaways was these people usually adopted a mindset when they then never wanted to pay. Often they considered themselves ‘too good to pay’.

It also taught other attendees not to pay and wait until the last minute then ask for free tickets.

Very happy to be wrong about this though :slight_smile:

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Aaagh that’s annoying! I’ve experienced an audience who believed they’d already contributed enough to the scene the event was about so should be admitted free of charge. We ended up comping a lot but it wasn’t ideal. Demographically that audience are less responsive to ticket offers and booking in advance so tricky all round!! No wonder I don’t always sleep at night!!

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Yes I can see that being a problem but equally if you have a half empty event, people will deem it a failure and probably not want to attend again. It’s a vicious circle!

And you may have mutinous exhibitors on your hands! shudder

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Maybe there are some general festival trends at play here - could be that everyone is experiencing fewer early booking? Anyone else in the @Festivals category have an opinion?


Rent a smaller venue
Take more time to market the event