Australian independent promoter Untitled Group has told IQ how it capitalised on a late surge in ticket sales to deliver its biggest summer season yet.
The Melbourne-headquartered company, which hosted 112 events around the country, sold more than 250,000 tickets during the 2022/23 summer period – a 25% increase on the previous 12 months.
Highlights included the first post-Covid camping edition of its Beyond the Valley festival, Dom Dolla’s New Year’s set and Nelly Furtado’s first Australian show in over 20 years.
“We’ve noticed a trend where people are more cautious with their spending and are only attending events that they deem as a non-negotiable,” Untitled managing partner and co-founder Nicholas Greco tells IQ.
“The challenge is to create a concept that offers a unique experience. In the current climate, trusted event brands have shone through, particularly those who are actively engaged with their audience.
“We’ve also seen that camping festivals which offer an immersive experience have a significant advantage over other festivals. The unique nature of the camping format sets it apart, and being able to see so many artists across multiple days makes it a more cost effective option.”
Greco says there has been a noticeable shift towards fans waiting longer to buy tickets for events.
“The current economic climate is impacting attendance numbers”
“We are seeing a strong uplift of ticket sales in the final four weeks leading up to the event date, even more so in the final week, which hasn’t really been the case for us in the past,” he observes. “So a key focus of ours is developing strategies to sustain the momentum all the way throughout our campaigns.”
He continues: “The current economic climate is impacting attendance numbers. With the cost of living increasing, our audience have a lot less disposable income to spend on entertainment. This also comes with the costs for artists to tour increasing, making it more challenging for music festivals to attract top tier talent. Festivals need to remain agile and adapt to survive.”
Untitled’s touring team has worked on tours for the likes of Glass Animals, The Kooks, Hayden James and Wu-Tang Clan, as well as its established festivals such as Beyond The Valley, Wildlands and Grapevine Gathering.
“Curating our festival lineup is definitely a team effort,” adds Greco. “We attend shows to get a firsthand experience of a wide range of artists, catch up with labels and other touring companies to get the pitches on upcoming acts, and have regular discussions with agents from around the world to keep up to date with who’s on cycle and wants to come to the region.
“This part is a lot less glamorous but the team analyses statistics on a daily basis to determine the popularity of artists and gauge our audience’s interest. It’s all just information gathering and it allows us to make the most informed decisions on which artists to include in the festival lineup, ensuring a diverse lineup that feels fresh every time.
Untitled Group recently hired former Live Nation and Three Six Zero veteran Andrew White as its new general manager. The firm restructured its booking team following its expansion to Asia Pacific and Europe in 2022, upping senior touring agent Monty McGaw to head of electronic, and went on to announce a further spate of new hires and promotions earlier this year.
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