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How this festival increased their turnover by 28 percent

Dec 15, 2017

Tysnesfest is among Norways largest festivals. This year they introduced cashless for food and beverage with mobile voucher sales and experienced a vast growth.

With 29,225 tickets sold and a total turnover in food and beverages of close to two million GBP on their ticketed events, rural Tysnesfest is among Norway’s largest festivals.

Prior to this years’ festival, Tysnesfest signed up with TicketCo as their new ticketing supplier. To improve festival sales,  they decided to try out TicketCo’s cashless sales solution, enabling their audience to buy both tickets, merchandise, food & beverage, accommodation and port space through their mobile phones.

“I’m really glad we tried it out!”, says festival CEO Oystein Vaage after what turned out to be their best festival ever.

Digital voucher success

The most radical change with with the new cashless service, compared to previous festivals, was the increase in sales of food and beverage.

Previously this was handled in two steps: the audience first bought vouchers on site and then swapped these for food or drinks in the bars and food stalls.

“We kept the physical voucher sales as a service this year, but also made it possible for those who wanted to skip the voucher queues and instead buy digital vouchers on their mobiles. Since this was a test we didn’t make much fuzz about it; a few banners here and there was all we did of marketing,” says Vaage.

Similar nights, highly different sales

“It’s hard to compare one year with another in hard numbers. Both the artists, the weather and of course the audience numbers will influence the food and drinks sales. Nevertheless, this year’s Friday night is highly comparable with last year’s Saturday night. The booking profile was similar, the opening hours the same, the weather close to identical and the number of tickets sold also close to identical. We had 7,132 visitors the comparable day in 2016, and 7,075 this year. The difference is less than one percent,” says Vaage.

What was then the dissimilarity between the two highly comparable days?

“The difference in food and beverage sales was huge, and beyond what we thought was achievable,” he admits.

The hard facts

The food and beverage turnover on the comparable day in 2016 was £191k, which equals £27 per person. In 2017, the turnover was £242k which equals £34 per person.

“This is actually an increase of 28 percent. That’s amazing!” says Vaage.

Related article: Four things this festival organiser did to increase ticket sales

The reasons why

Naturally the festival CEO and his colleagues have analysed why their sales peaked this year, and they have reached the following conclusions:

44 percent of this years’ vouchers where purchased either online or on-site on mobiles.

Out of these, more than two thirds where bought on-site on mobiles.

The queues were considerably reduced, both at the voucher point of sales and in the bars and food stalls.

People only had to queue 3 minutes at the most, which is far less than previous year’s.

Festival volunteers in the bars and at the food stalls maintained a service rate of 6,000 units per hour.

“We fully attribute these huge improvements to TicketCo’s Cashless. We now realised the previous voucher sales had been more of a restriction than anything else. This year proved that we have a huge untapped potential here,” concludes Vaage.