Saturday, 2 August 2014

Alt-Fest: The Festival That Never Was

As many people may have seen around the internet by now, the brand new music festival Alt-Fest has been cancelled. I for one am very disappointed in this decision because it was my choice of summer festival, and I bought tickets for my girlfriend for her birthday.

But even though there are a lot worse off people than me, (festival goers from as far and wide as the USA and Russia were booked to fly in. I sure hope they can refund their fights), I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the future of Alt-Fest.

The reason for this is in the turnout of support people pledged for such an awesome sounding event and how crowdfunding has proved itself to be one of the best forms of event organising in the social media age.

The Beauty of Crowdfunding

Having amassed £60,000 to put the festival together, I would think a second attempt, albeit with a slightly higher goal, would be a success. I didn’t contribute to the crowdfunding campaign but my friends who did were handsomely rewarded with full weekend tickets and discounts on drinks and trinket prices. If they set up a new one again soon, I would easily contribute. Crowdfunding from fans is the best way for independent organisers to get things together and seeing how the festival died only a week before it was meant to happen, the next step will definitely prove worthy.

Start Small

However, I do have my opinions regarding the amazing line-up. This most certainly led to the festival running out of money and cancelling at the last minute. It was a fantastic line-up and it wasn’t just music on offer – circus acts and an exhibition of Steampunk art were things I certainly wanted to experience – but it did seem a little too much in hindsight.

My advice to the organisers would be this: start small, then work your way up. Nearly every major festival in Europe has its modest origins, and beginning with an impressive, yet small number of stages, would in my opinion prove a good start. Eventually the festival could then expand into an even bigger and better event. Hell, for all we know Alt-Fest could one day become the alternative scene’s Glastonbury if it is successful several times round. 

I’m no financial expert, but I have learnt that starting small and amassing a certain level of profit can help in securing a foreseeable future if you want your event to remain regular.

Don’t Blame The Organisers

Finally, all I have to add is don’t blame all this on the organisers. I was very disappointed and am in the midst of getting a refund on my tickets, but I cannot blame the breakdown of the festival entirely on the people who organised it. 

According to the statement of cancellation, the festival did not have enough money to support all the outlets for the full weekend. Sounds like a pretty bad move, but let’s remind ourselves that this was the first festival organised by a group of music fans who, to my knowledge, had never put on a festival before. They might have been experienced in putting on gigs, etc. but something as big as this takes a lot of effort which the organisers might not have been fully aware of.

But look on the positive side: we got as far as the penultimate week and if we can get that far we can certainly put the festival into action next time round.

Here’s to Alt-Fest. I wish you guys a safe return with a line-up as awesome as the one you promised. I’ll certainly keep record of your posters and promotions and tell my descendants about you in the future. Maybe I’ll turn you into an urban legend of music and say that you were the vanishing festival. But overall, I know you guys will do it one day and I congratulate you again for coming this far.

Pretentious Moi? one of the bands i really wanted to see.

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