The popularity of Instagram, NFTs, and online forums has led to a democratization of art, music, and all things creative, in a way that was unforeseen just a decade ago. Just ask Edinburgh-based artist Trevor Jones, who, as recently as 2019, was borrowing money off friends to pay his mortgage. Today, he can make as much as $4M in a day by organizing his own NFT art sales. Artists and musicians are also joining forces, bypassing traditional galleries and museums to hold their own exhibitions and festivals and avoiding high commissions for agents and event organizers.
If you are dreaming of hosting your own music or art festival, how can you find the funds you need to make it happen?
Creating Fruitful Synergies with Other Artists or Musicians
Create a network with other creatives and consider how you can share expenses and profits equitably. If you are an artist, don't necessarily limit your festival to musical events. Partner up with artists, food providers, and local suppliers, to attract a wider share of spectators to your event. Invest time in promoting your event on Facebook and other social media channels, using ads and other tools to reach a larger market. Offer your chosen venue a cut of ticket sales, so you don't have to pay any upfront fees.
Crowdfunding to Minimize Risks
Crowdfunding is an excellent way to obtain the funds you need while maintaining your financial security. To attract the attention of your target market, make sure to offer them interesting perks like merchandise and free art. Offer them the chance to watch artists at work, enjoy special seating, or access a specific number of drinks and food items. Create a beautiful video that shows your passion for the event you're organizing. Detail all your expenses with full transparency, indicating how much each expense is (for instance, $5,000 for venue hire, $2,500 for transportation costs, and similar). Don't rest on the funds obtained from your crowdfunding efforts. Aim to find sponsors as well, offering to display their products or services on posters or in stands, including them in your marketing videos and website, and thanking them on social media.
Keeping Your Accountancy Ledger Clean
If you will be putting up a large percentage of funds yourself, make sure to crunch numbers first. Include debts others owe you in your ledger, writing them off, so you can gauge the net amount of cash you have to dedicate to your event. Use the "allowance method" of accounting, so your balance sheet represents a realistic net amount that will be credited to your account. This method involves recording an adjusting entry at the end of every accounting period for the number of losses expected owing to credit you have extended to clients.
On the Wings of Angel Investors
Aim to attract the attention of angel investors with a special interest in the arts. Just a few places to look include AngelList (a website where you can look for investors to partner with), Gust (another reliable angel network), and Angel Forum (featuring highly experienced investors). Highlight the unique selling points of your event and make sure to include a full run-down of expenses.
Hosting your own festival is as exciting as it is daunting. Great ideas must be backed by money for your festival to work, though the good news is that there are many ways to source it. Share expenses, look for sponsors, start a crowdfunding campaign, and look for angel investors. Make sure your accounts are clean so you have a clear idea of how much you can invest yourself, should you be so inclined.
image: micheile dot com