Recently, we spoke to Birmingham Pride’s Programming and Event Manager, Dan Brown, about what the future of the festival might entail during a post-COVID festival season. Here’s what he had to say:
Unfortunately, I wish I could see what the future pride would look like but, at the moment, we don’t! Ideally, we want to be as big and if not better than previous years! Our main goal every year is to grow bigger, grow more diverse and raise as much money as possible for LGBTQ+ charities. However, will this be realistic for 2021? What I do know is that whatever we end up doing we will ensure that it is as safe and as covid-secure as possible. Our main priority at the event is everyone’s wellbeing.
The future of festivals (in my opinion) is rapid and affordable testing on entry! It will make the logistics a nightmare but it’s something I know every festival organiser and festival-goer will be willing to undergo to guarantee that we can get festivals back in full force. Together we can make it happen!
Personally, building a long-lasting trust in the festival crowd is learning from your mistakes and taking onboard customer critics. Yes, we are the specialists, but sometimes you fail to see the full customer point of view of your festival as you are so busy behind the scenes. The audience and supporters are the ones that make our festival as great as it is, so we want to make them happy and provide them with a safe space so they realistically spearhead our festival’s evolution. Hopefully, they see that and that’s why they trust us!
The main thing the ticket providers can do to reassure festivals goers is simple communication. Personally, I think many festival ticket providers emails regarding cancellations or postponed events are like trying to read HTML coding. Keep it simple and clean. When is it rescheduled? Does the ticket move over to the new date? Can they get a refund if they can’t make it? Constant simple communication is key.
The key to any successful festival in my eyes is to make sure you are moving with the times but not only that, make sure you are enjoying the evolution of your festival. Without that understanding and passion for your festival, in time, your interest and care will fade out along with the festival. Keep up with the trends of your audience and keep in contact with key player customers for their feedback. ENJOY YOURSELF! THIS JOB IS FUN! MAKE SURE YOU ARE HAVING FUN!