It’s no secret that the new festival laws are really hurting promoters. However, if Facebook comments are anything to go by, a lot of fans seem to think something along the lines of, “Big whoop, festival promoters are greedy, make too much money, and rip us off anyway.”

Well, it’s time to set the record straight.

What fans need to know is how incredibly risky festival promotion actually is; and like with any business, the more risky your investment, the more rewarding the return.

So yes, if a festival does well, the promoter does make a lot of money. However, if it does poorly (and the odds are truly in favour of any festival going poorly) then the promoter can stand to lose millions.

To keep it really simple here’s what a high-level P&L might look like for a festival selling 10,000 tickets.


Artists booking costs: $800k

Venue + Facilities: $600k

Admin: $180k (insurance, APRA fees, etc.)

Marketing: $120k

Safety: $250k

Production: $250k

Staff: $400k