The Rise of the Festival – Hybrid Spaces and Pop Ups

By January 8, 2020NEWS

The night-time industry has an immense opportunity to host events. People are increasingly being drawn to one-off events and this will attract more people to enjoy the night-time industry.

Parklife festival, for example, attracts 80,000 people a day. This brings in more than £10m into the local economy. Festivals and events are immensely important to the night-time industry. According to Night Time Economy, 74% of people indicated they wanted to see more festivals and events, closely followed by people wanting to see more arts, culture and heritage venues open at night. There’s a rise in museums and arts venues opening late for special events and hosting Light Nights – encouraging people who wouldn’t normally be able to visit their venue to come at night instead. Plus, with the rise of home drinking, venues need to find a way to offer an experience that just can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Combining an art and cocktails night or fashion show club night provides audiences with something totally different that they can’t get elsewhere. Plus, there’s an element of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) if an event is a one-off. Your customers can come along to your venue any night, so you need to find a reason to entice them in for one specific night.

Events are particularly important to bring in a midweek crowd as it brings in footfall on an otherwise quiet night. You only need to turn to ventures such as Bongo’s Bingo to see how successful this sort of thing can be.

Eventbrite reported a 400% rise in boutique festivals, which ranges from gin festivals right through to drag queen festivals. And the Association of Independent Festivals reported than independent festivals contributed more than £1bn to the UK economy between 2014-2017. This figure can only rise as more night-time venues evolve and expand their offering.

Hybrid venues and temporary Pop-Ups

The night-time economy is experiencing a rise in pop-up venues. Event professionals and venue owners often see natural peaks and troughs happening throughout the year. A pop-up event doesn’t have to deal with the downtime. This reduces the pressure on the organiser and creates a temporary but incredibly impactful buzz within the community which increases event footfall. Christmas markets, for example, boosted the UK economy by £500million in 2017 and no doubt the figure has risen year on year. Again, the temporary nature of pop-ups encourages people to visit or face missing out on potentially a great event.

The risk of creating a pop-up is much lower than running a permanent venue. You don’t need to contend with quiet periods, a constant regeneration of event ideas and new experiences and you won’t need to worry about the ‘what ifs’. And, if the event is a rave success and you end up looking at the idea as a long-term, larger vision then the pop-up acts as a great trial period in which you’ve probably learned a lot and built up following. It’s a win-win either way.

It’s much cheaper to set up a pop-up event than taking on a new venue. Running costs could be cheaper, and actually finding a venue is generally easier. Placemaking is a buzzword in the industry and Councils across the country are encouraging new and exciting ventures to attract visitors to certain areas. Derelict places are being offered up for event organisers to transform, often for little to no rent.

And big businesses are getting in on the act, too. Property developers are allowing place makers to take on empty retail units free of charge, or use land pre-development to generate the excitement of things to come.

There’s no better time to consider organising pop-up night-time events.

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