November 18, 2021

Event goers spending nearly three times more on trips compared to pre-COVID [report]

Event goers spending nearly three times more on trips compared to pre-COVID [report]
Mad Cool Spain

There’s much talk about unprecedented pent-up demand for festivals and events by music fans.

For Australian promoters, there are two questions: Will punters’ spending before and during these events retain pre-COVID levels? And how much will they travel to attend an event?

Earlier, the Australia Council’s COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor 2021 indicated that 65% of Aussies thought their spend would stay the same, 14% would spend more, and 21% figured it would be less.

But a new report from the northern hemisphere, where music events have already rebooted for several months, suggests enthusiasm will rise in the wake of full vaccination and the lifting of restrictions.

A study by cashless POS platform Event Genius and festival discovering and booking platform Festicket found that until September, event-goers were spending nearly three times more on their event trips compared to pre-COVID.

Festicket, which works with 4,000 festivals in markets including Australia, saw a 172% increase in average order value for international bookings between 2019 and 2022 – which now stands at over €550 (AUD$851.50).

There was a similarly large rise in the average order value for domestic bookings.

Leading the surge were event-goers from the UK, representing 31% of all international orders for 2022. The USA followed closely with 28%.

France and Germany were 5% and Ireland was 4%. For the time being, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain were stay-at-homes.

Music tourists are largely heading to Spain, with the country accounting for 68% of all international bookings for 2022, notably from the UK, USA, France, Germany and Ireland.

The next four were Portugal (7%), USA (7%), Croatia (6%) and Hungary (3%).

Historically popular destinations such as The Netherlands, France and Germany are yet to see a surge in international bookings, not least due to the ongoing restrictions in these countries and a lack of events on sale for 2022.

According to Festicket, event attendees are spending more, but are prone to reducing immediate costs by using alternative payment methods such as Festicket’s Payment Plan and Pay with Friends.

50% of international orders for 2022 events have been placed via a payment plan compared to 12% for events pre-COVID in 2019.

The figure for domestic events rose from 7% in 2019 to 24% in 2022.

Festicket and Event Genius’ CEO, Reshad Hossenally, said it’s promising to see the willingness of fans to spend highly on future trips.

“As the live event industry continues to open up we expect it to unleash a wave of pent-up demand from eager event-goers who have been starved of live events for nearly 18 months,”

“We are already seeing this play out with those events that have been brave enough to go on sale, such as the sellout Primavera Sound which we were the official payment plan provider for.”