Succession Planning for Festivals: How to Build a Festival Legacy


Festivals, more often than not, are products of passion. When establishing these events, organizers are not usually thinking years ahead, wondering about how their legacies and foundational planning will be passed onto others. This is why festival succession planning can be such a challenge for organizations looking to lock-in their legacies and ensure consistent quality in years to come.

Like in every industry, there are exceptions to the rule; some festivals spring out of a large investments, while others spring into existence because a town or region was trying to fill a requirement. But, more often than not, when you sit down with a festival director and ask them the question about how their festival first got started, they will launch into a grand tale about how the original creators of the event had a dream…

  • A dream to see their small town become an epicentre of culture and music…
  • A dream of unknown bands or artists proving themselves on a grand platform…
  • A dream of a few good friends who were getting together during one weekend of the year to hang out & relax in the woods and decided to make it legendary…

All of these origin stories are real-life scenarios of major festivals currently operating across the globe. Each festival is unique, and each story has had its own twists and turns, but the common denominator is that they were all a product of passion – someone dreamed it up and then worked like hell to make it happen!

The Challenge of Festival Succession Planning:

The inherent challenge of festival succession planning, therefore, is that festivals are often already years into production before they recognize themselves as full-fledged businesses — not just something that a few friends put on every year. All the tips and tricks, the how-to’s, and the little things that make that particular festival amazing are trapped in the few minds that have created the event and are often lost in the shuffle of growth.

Even more challenging is when succession planning’s importance is inevitably brought forward, many festival teams reject the idea. Often heard objections are:

  • “It’s too late for us to get into anything like that…”
  • “We’re already a well-oiled machine and there isn’t a good enough reason to do all that work…”
  • “We wouldn’t know where to start…”

The thing is all these objections aren’t unique to festival planning, they are typical excuses that every business uses when confronted with the challenge of succession planning.

At it’s core, succession planning demands an executive understanding of the role each person plays in your organization. You simply won’t be able to move forward without that knowledge. Once armed with the bone structure of your festival, you’ll then be ready to start planning for things like, “who should be taking over for who” when important individuals suddenly exit the company.

Having a solid game plan in place for who takes over where is a great start, however to fully implement succession planning you will not only need a list of who moves up, but you’ll need to establish a knowledge hub for your employees to build up from and work within to ensure the legacy of your festival is properly recorded and replicable if any unfortunate circumstances arise.

How To Establish Your Knowledge Hub:

In a perfect scenario, a company’s knowledge hub will consist of a centralized database that all employees work from within; conducting their communications, scheduling their calendars, performing special tasks related to their positions, and performing any other tasks that might be a part of their overall duties.

For many businesses, softwares like Salesforce or Basecamp can be a perfect fit because they provide a broad array of functionalities that are associated with running an average business.

However, as many people who plan festivals might have discovered – festivals are a bit of a unique beast, requiring very specialized tools for one-off tasks that literally only festivals deal with (think contracting and scheduling 200 artists into a tight 2-day timeframe, or accepting and judging applications for different food and craft vendors that are hoping to join your festival, or volunteer management, or access control logistics, or credential and asset tracking, and the list goes on and on…)

Up until a few years ago it was up to festivals to create their own custom solution that was capable of becoming a centralized knowledge hub for them. Typically an elaborate spreadsheet-type document was developed, or sometimes a festival might try and utilize multiple generic software solutions in attempts to cover off all of their needs. Granted, this can be a big step up from nothing, but it also comes with some massive disadvantages, like inconsistent data floating around in multiple document drafts, staff not knowing how to use the many software tools you’ve had to adopt, or just a general disorganization of information.

However, since the evolution of festival management software, festivals now have a specialized solution uniquely designed to serve as the knowledge hub and centralized planning tool for their entire event, allowing for elaborate succession planning and legacy building.

Grimur Atlason, the founder and festival director of the internationally acclaimed festival, Iceland Airwaves, talks about his experience with succession planning, using festival management software:

Securing Your Festival Legacy:

With the increasing trend of festivalgoers choosing to attend festivals in order to “escape from their normal lives,” festivals have become so much more than just a good lineup of musicians — they’ve become an experience.

That amazing experience and promise of good times has become (or will inevitably become) your festival’s legacy and one of your biggest selling points. It should not be undersold or left unprotected.

But, if after all this you still fall into one of the following camps:

  • “It’s too late for us to get into anything like that…”
  • “We’re already a well-oiled machine…”
  • “We wouldn’t know where to start…”

Just think about your worst case scenario… the words “hit by a bus” usually come to mind.  If that doesn’t scare you into thinking “maybe I should look into something that will help us plan for that,” then you might be well organized enough that you’re good to go… Or you’re blissfully unaware of the havoc that would ensue if someone was “hit by a bus”. But alas, if every passing bus has started to make you increasingly uneasy, it might be time to start thinking about succession planning.

Don’t Do It Alone:

Don’t go at it alone, though! Together we can explore whether utilizing something like Marcato’s festival management software will secure your festival’s legacy and solidify your succession planning, preparing you for any and all circumstances that can be thrown your way!

To talk to a representative about how you can use Marcato as your festival’s knowledge hub and succession planning tool, click here to book a demo.

How Marcato Integrates With Festival Mobile App Providers, like Aloompa and Greencopper


Recently a shift has taken place in the festival industry where festival mobile apps have become an expectation of festival goers, so much so that they’ve now almost become a full blown aspect of ‘festival culture’.

Because of this upward trend, a growing concern for festival producers is the functionality of these apps. Is the app just a “sparkly gimmick”, or does it actually offer real usefulness and enhance the overall experience of the festival goer? These questions are not only important to festival planners when considering their event’s overall integrity, but also because they’ve opened organizers up to a whole new level of scrutiny as fans tweet about their displeasure with the app’s functionality, or express concerns over the many programming errors that they’ve discovered while attempting to utilize it.

Due to these potentially disastrous (and common) social outcries, it’s become increasingly important for festival organizers to deliver a fantastically crafted mobile app that is dedicated to enhancing the experience of their ticket buyers, displaying useful information, supplying extra content, and allowing fans to really get the most out of the festival.

As the festival app industry continues to evolve, Marcato is dedicated to providing the most reliable integrations with top mobile app providers in the space, in order to ensure their clients can continue to produce the highest quality of mobile app, with the most ease-of-use.

What they do on their own:

  • Festival Management Software:

    At their core, festival management softwares are designed to maximize efficiency in the festival and entertainment industry by providing specialized management tools exclusively needed in the festival planning field.

    Marcato is recognized as the leading provider in the space, providing their clients a one-stop-shop solution for every aspect of event administration, whether it be managing talent, schedules, vendors, assets, credentials, logistics, or any other aspect of an event’s back-end management.

  • Festival Mobile App Providers:

    Festival mobile app providers are companies who specialize in the design and development of specialized mobile apps, uniquely built with each individual client in mind.

    They provide an outlet for festival planners to communicate with festival goers about all the information that’s needed to properly experience their event, including a full lineup and schedule of the event, social media integrations, and much more.

    Often, these companies will even consult with their clients to ensure the festival’s branding is consistent across all communication platforms.

What they can do together:

When successfully implemented, Marcato is designed to become your organization’s official one-stop-shop for administrative collaboration, while hosting all the information you need to plan your event. This data can be anything from the staff’s daily activities, projects, and communications, to your talent’s contract information, hospitality arrangements, and biographical content. Essentially, every bit of information you create or gather for your event can be stored and worked with inside Marcato.

In light of that, one of Marcato’s greatest advantages is that the platform doesn’t just store information for your organization, but it makes that data actually start working for you. Each component of information stored in the system is transferable, whether it be the detailed itineraries of your artists, or the full lineup schedule of your event broken down into specific showtimes and participants.

This is where integrating with a mobile app provider gets really cool!

To break things down a little better, lets review examples from two of our favourite mobile app providers: Aloompa and GreenCopper.

CMA’s mobile app, powered by Aloompa, provides a ton of fantastic resources to their users, including: social media integrations, a personal user account, a map of the grounds, and, most importantly, a full line-up of all the artists playing and a schedule of when they’re hitting the stage!

The exciting bit is that every piece of artist information displayed in the app, including the lineup, the schedule, and the location of each act, actually comes right from CMA’s Marcato account — even the artist’s bios and social media links come from Marcato! All of that data then floats over to Aloompa’s platform, via XML feeds, and is sorted into the appropriate slots.

Festival Mobile App - Country Music Association

Even more cool is how all that data is dynamic… Meaning if the schedule is changed slightly, or a name is misspelled, or an artists drops out – as soon as the adjustment is made in Marcato, Aloompa’s platform recognizes the change and updates the mobile app, automatically.

When thinking over the major benefits of Marcato, including the built-in Aloompa integration, CMA’s Digital Project Manager, Scott Frans, noted:

[Our Festival] has so many moving pieces that require attention from multiple departments and production teams. Marcato allows us to simplify the intake, management, and execution of all these elements in a way that was previously thought impossible. Because of Marcato [and other software platforms, like Aloompa] our team can now spend more time creating the best experience possible for our fans and partners!

Osheaga’s mobile app, powered by Greencopper, is another fantastic example to look at. The app has some great functionality, such as: RFID wristband tie-ins, a map of the grounds, a multimedia centre, a resources centre (hosting great information about how to best enjoy your experience at Osheaga), other social media integrations, and some incredible music discovery functionality, all of which is collected on a personal user account that synchronizes across multiple platforms, including Facebook and the festival’s official website. Of course, all of this would be useless without a full line-up of all the artists playing and a schedule of when they’re hitting the stage, which Greencopper also delivers seamlessly.

Festival Mobile App - Osheaga

Just like in the previous example, every piece of artist information displayed in the app comes right from Osheaga’s Marcato web-based account. All that data then floats over to Greencopper’s platform, via XML feeds, and is sorted into the right spots.

Just as it was in the previous example, the data shared between Marcato and Greencopper is dynamic, making it even easier for festival organizers to update their mobile app. Because of this functionality, administrators only need to make their changes once, from within their Marcato account, and they’ll then see those updates reflected automatically on their mobile app! Greencopper also offers alternative services, like web-calendars and Facebook itegrations, which can also be integrated with Marcato.

What this means for you:

Greencopper’s CEO, Gwenaël Le Bodic, couldn’t say it any better:

What we’ve learned is that festival organizers really don’t like entering the exact same data into so many different places, over and over again.

It’s because of this redundant workflow Marcato teamed up with amazing mobile app providers like Aloompa and Greencopper. With these integrations in place, festival organizers can streamline their entire mobile app setup & also do any maintenance that’s required, all from within one system – eliminating the headaches of going back and forth, countless times, for every little change you make and getting you back to doing what you do best: hosting incredible events!

To talk to a representative today about setting up your mobile app integration with Marcato, click here.

Is Your Festival Too Small For Festival Management Software? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Festival Management Software Question

When exploring whether festival management software might be a fit for your festival, it’s very important to consider the question of, ‘is my festival too small for festival management software?’

Seeing as festival management software is relatively new to the festival industry, the question of who really benefits from using a software like this can sometimes be unclear.

Common Objections Are:

“Our festival isn’t big enough to warrant a system like that.”

“We already have some great internal processes in-place and I don’t really think we need to adopt anything that extreme.”

“We don’t have it in the budget and I doubt we ever will.”

Each objection is completely understandable, however, after reviewing a sample of festival management software users (see infographic below), we’ve discovered that there is actually a wide variety of festivals using the software and, more importantly, it has now become a huge part of their daily workflows! Some festivals even go as far as saying it’s become an imperative ingredient of their event’s success.

Users Responding To The Objections:

When reflecting over his decision to adopt the festival management software system, Marcato, Freelance Festival Director, Luke Schroder, said:

I don’t think I could ever plan another festival without it!

Jonny Stevens, the past Executive Director & current Board Member of Halifax Pop Explosion, a small festival on the East Coast of Canada, validates Schroder’s point by explaining:

I would recommend Marcato to any small, medium or large festival. First, it saves me money (and lots of it); second, it allows me to collaborate and manage my staff effectively; and third, it allows my staff to manage the artists that perform our festival each year. Get off the spreadsheets and whiteboards and get onto Marcato.

Lastly, the Arts and Culture Manager of the Toronto Pride Festival, TK Gesner, addresses the price of festival management software by explaining how it’s literally saved him an entire salary’s worth of cash in his budget:

Thanks to Marcato, I didn’t need to hire an assistant to stay on top of things!

A Deeper Look Into Who Really Uses Festival Management Software:

Festival Management Software Infographic

To really figure this thing out, request a meeting with one of Marcato’s product specialists today and find out if festival management software might be a fit for you!

Click here to request a demo.

Generic Event Software vs. Festival Management Software: Why Generic Event Software Doesn’t Cut It For Festivals.

Generic Event Software vs. Festival Management Software

When it comes to finding a software solution that can properly assist production teams with the behemoth task of organizing and staging large festivals, generic event software just doesn’t cut it. This kind of software is inadequate because it too often fails to provide solutions for the many unique workflows and challenges of the festival planning space, especially in the following 4 areas:

Generic Vs. Specialized

  1. Extremely detailed talent management needs,

  2. Festival’s application-heavy processes,

  3. Special data publishing requirements, &

  4. Elaborate credential/asset management needs.

1. Extremely Detailed Talent Management Needs

One of Marcato’s most popular features has become it’s ability to manage a festival’s talent in an extremely detailed way. Before Marcato, festivals had to keep track of an artist’s biographical content, their song samples, full contact information (including the band and crews’ information), hospitality arrangements (including flight itineraries, hotel accommodations, and travel arrangements), running orders and stage itineraries, using multiple management systems and softwares, each with their own confusing platform and workflow. On top of all that, festival planners would also have to ensure that there were no scheduling conflicts or contractual disagreements when their talent arrived. Marcato eliminates all of this chaos and streamlines the entire artist management process into one coherent system, which can easily keep track of all that information. It also allows festival directors to convert to paperless contracting, including any painful negotiations or amendments. Managing your talent from within one system like this eliminates much of the confusion and protects against any pending conflicts. Moreover, it is also greatly beneficial when there are any last-minute schedule changes that need to be made, or one of your artists drops out suddenly, because your performing talent can easily check their up-to-date itineraries online. To learn more about Marcato’s artist management functionalities, read our full blog about it here.

2. Festival’s Application-Heavy Processes

Before you can even have an artist step on stage, many festivals go through a very long and grueling application process, where artists submit their information and song samples to the festival in hopes that they will be selected to play. It isn’t just artists that go through this application process, either! Vendors, volunteers, and press often have to apply to participate. Generic software can go a long way when accepting applications by hosting forms on your website or by email. However, once the data is collected you’re left on your own to manage the information and then eventually transfer it into useful formats, like a lineup on your website or mobile app. When utilizing Marcato, all of this is sorted within one system, allowing you to accept, judge, advance or reject applications, and seamlessly push all the information to the appropriate sources. Marcato can even notify applicants of their status with bulk email blasts delivering the good (or bad) news. To learn more about how Marcato can help you streamline your festival’s application process, click here.

3. Special Data Publishing Requirements

Once your festival’s participants are chosen, including volunteers, vendors, or talent, much of that information will need to be pushed to additional sources, like email blasts that can notify volunteers of their schedules and vendors of their site requirements, or websites and mobiles apps that can announce your festival’s headlining acts and complete lineup schedule. There are some great generic softwares that allow for much of this to be done, like mass emailing apps and event scheduling apps, but no one application is capable of doing all that needs to be done while also providing the necessary integrations, except Marcato. At best you would have to employ many different services to properly manage the elaborate task of pushing your data to the right sources, each with their own confusing platform. Marcato was not only built to provide a top quality solution for each of these challenges, but we also partner with all the major mobile app providers in the space and have developed an easy-to-use plugin for wordpress managed websites and XML feeds for all other websites. All of this ensures your information gets to where it needs to be, when it needs to be there! To learn more about how Marcato makes managing festival websites and mobile apps easier, click here.

4. Elaborate Credential/Asset Management Needs

By the time you’ve pushed your festival’s information to the appropriate sources, your fans will have purchased their tickets (after seeing your epic lineup), your vendors will be eagerly preparing for the date, volunteers will have been notified about their schedules, and everything will seem ready for production. As a festival planner, however, you must now direct your attention to site requirements, like credential requests and approvals, asset management and tracking, sponsorship fulfilment, special access areas, and a million other day-of-production things that must be managed. There are practically no generic software services that will assist with such tasks, perhaps with the exception of some handy communication tools and barcode technologies. But alas, Marcato does not abandon the festival planner on the last sprint of the race — in fact, an entire enterprise solution has been developed for events in need of advanced asset and credential management tools, RFID integrations, catering management services, and advanced permission tools. We believe this enterprise solution offers the most executive collection of functionality ever brought together for festival planners and accounts for all imaginable requirements needed to successfully stage an event of any size.  Ultimately, we aim to give event planners the ability to oversee and hold the keys to their entire operation, but also allow them the flexibility to lend those keys out, with detailed permissions, to whomever they need to. To learn more about our enterprise solution, read our full blog about it here.

Why Generic Event Software Doesn’t Cut It For Festivals:

In conclusion, there are many event software services that can be effectively used by festival planners to help organize their productions; whether it be for a certain participant’s application process, or general event scheduling, or other internal and external communication needs. However, the pain of convincing your team to buy into each of the softwares needed for all of these tasks would be enough of a headache to stray away from using any of them at all! Even if you are able to get past all of that, there would still be some huge gaps of functionality in your solution. This is why Marcato came together and developed an all-in-one festival management software solution that is very easy to use and supported by an entire team of experts, which covers all aspects of your festival’s planning. With it, your entire team can enjoy the benefits of web-based collaboration and specialized organizational tools, while also gaining the most executive control you’ve ever been capable of.

To talk to a representative today about setting up your Marcato festival management software account, click here.

How to Streamline Festival Websites and Mobile Apps: The Power Behind Marcato’s XML Web Feeds!


Remember program guides? Glossy paper, 40 pages thick, chock-full of useful information: a centerfold map of the grounds, a full time schedule of what was happening and where you should look for it, and anything else you would need to know for the event. The days of printed program guides might be a thing of the past, but the industry standard of events and festivals having to provide their attendees detailed resources hasn’t gone anywhere. The web revolutionized the way we present this information, with the use of festival mobile apps and websites , but the pain of creating them still exists today.

How to Streamline Festival Websites and Mobile Apps:

Since our genesis in 2008, Marcato has been on the frontline of protecting the valuable time of festival and event managers. We’ve built a rock solid solution to help with every administrative task required to stage a great production, including a great process that helps festival organizers streamline the creation and maintenance of websites and mobile apps, using a combination of our XML web-feed technology and the partnerships we’ve created with all the major service providers in the space.

Usually the most cumbersome thing about creating material like this is the pure nature of the content and how quickly it can change. Let’s first review why creating and maintaining festival websites & mobile apps is so darn troublesome and then move on to how Marcato addresses the solution.

The Pain:

Using the example of a large music festival, festival organizers are expected to publish their artist lineup, complete with a schedule of the showtimes, on their official website and mobile app, a few months prior to the event. As a standard, most festivals also provide all of their artists’ biographies, photos of the band, links to their official websites and social media, video material, and everything else in between. Many festivals will even go the extra mile and display the exact location and time each band is hitting the stage.

The real pain for festival organizers is when something changes… an artist drops out, someone misses their flight, the band changes it’s name (think Snoop Dogg vs. Snoop Lion), or a combination of a million other things that could go wrong/need updating during the production. Even a simple typo can cause hours of filtering through your website and mobile app, fixing the mistake.

Because of issues like these, the whole website and mobile app process is very time consuming and just a nuisance to manage. But, it’s a part of the gig and there’s nothing you can do about it, right?

Thankfully, no!

There is a better way:

When successfully implemented, Marcato’s web-based festival management software is designed to become your organization’s official one-stop-shop for administrative collaboration, while hosting all of the information you need to plan out an elaborate event. This data can be anything from your staff’s daily activities, projects, and communication, to your talent’s contract information, hospitality arrangements, or biographical content. Essentially, every bit of information created or gathered for your event can be stored and worked with inside Marcato.

In light of that, one of Marcato’s greatest advantages is that the platform doesn’t just store information for your organization, it starts making that data work for you! Information stored in the system is transferable via our XML web-feeds, whether it be the biographies of your artists or the full lineup schedule of your event broken down into specific showtimes and performances.

The tech in action:

To shed some light on the implications of this functionality, let’s review a real example of Marcato’s XML web feeds in action; the Country Music Association’s Fanfest mobile app is a great case study.


CMA’s mobile app, powered by Aloompa, provides a ton of fantastic resources to their users, including social media integrations, a personal user account, a map of the grounds, and, most importantly, a full line-up of all the artists playing the festival and a schedule of when they’re hitting the stage!

Here’s the exciting bit: every piece of artist information displayed in the app, including the lineup, the schedule, and the location of each act originally comes right from the Country Music Association’s Marcato account. All of that data then floats over to Aloompa’s platform, via XML feeds, and is sorted into the appropriate slots.

CMA Mobile App 1 CMA Mobile App - WhenWhere CMA Mobile App - Line Up CMA Mobile App - Artist Profile

Even more cool is how all that data is dynamic… Meaning if the schedule is changed slightly, or a name is misspelled, or an artists drops out – as soon as the adjustment is made in Marcato, Aloompa’s platform recognizes the change and updates the mobile app, automatically.

Internationally acclaimed festival Iceland Airwaves’ website, powered by Greencopper (who also power their mobile app), is another great example.  This time instead of just powering a mobile app, Iceland Airwaves also uses Marcato to power most of their website’s content via an XML integration with Greencopper, including their photos, videos, social media links, and bios of all the artists playing the festival!

 Iceland Airwaves Website Iceland Airwaves 2-New

In the same way that all the mobile app data in the previous example was dynamic, all of the data feeding Iceland Airwaves’ website (and mobile app) is, as well. If a change or adjustment needs be made, the festival’s administration need only make that update once within Marcato and, within a matter of minutes, Greencopper’s platform will pick up on the change and push it to the right source, whether it be the website or mobile app, automatically.

* Marcato also offers a free plugin for festivals who use WordPress to power their website, which allows for much of the same functionality mentioned above.

The Point:

Data entry isn’t something anyone should really have to deal with nowadays; we all have way too many other things to do. With XML integrations like this in place, you eliminate all the headaches of having to go back and forth, countless times, between multiple platforms, for every little change you have to make to your program. Keep in mind, it’s not just talent’s information you can publish to your website or mobile app, but any kind of information you have gathered inside Marcato; whether you chose to publish a list of all your craft vendors and the links to their online stores, or a schedule of when your volunteers are expected to be on site – the beauty of this technology is you get to pick what’s gets published to your integrated platforms. Typically event organizers only publish information like the artists’ bios and showtimes, but ultimately the sky’s the limit!

As an added bonus, Marcato already partners with most major mobile app providers in the festival space and we also offer a free WP plugin that works with any WordPress managed site — making it even easier to get started right away!

To talk to a representative today about setting up your Marcato account, click here.

How to Manage Your Artists and Talent Using Marcato’s Artist Management Module


Performing artists and talent are the bread and butter for most festivals out there. In many cases, festival lineups can consist of over 100 artists, each one bringing along their own individual band members, crew, and equipment. It would be an understatement to say artist management takes up a lot of a festival’s administrative resources.

The issue is talent management can overwhelm festival organizers, sometimes leaving them blind to other areas of need. Because of this problem, Marcato developed a solution that protects festival planners from being swamped by the task of “artist management.” Our Artist Management module allows organizers the ability to take on this task without any fear of the workflow!

Festival Organizers use Marcato’s Artist Management module to:

  • Accept artist applications/submissions online (You can read our full blog about accepting artist submissions here)
  • Easily advance artists right from within the app (You can also read our blog about this here)
  • Keep track of all their artists’ travel & accommodations, backline requirements, stage plots, tech riders, and crew information
  • Manage applicable financial details, such as artist fees, deposits, final payments, and contract statuses.
  • Many festivals also choose to utilize our paperless contracting plugin to manage all of their artist contract negotiations within Marcato.

Needless to say, Marcato was designed so that festivals wouldn’t have any need to switch between platforms in order to manage their artists efficiently — Marcato is their one-stop shop!

Jenna Allen of Hillside Festival, notes:

“Now that we’re using Marcato, it’s great to have every aspect of an artist laid down in one spot. It makes it very clear to see what information is still needed!”

In this testimonial, Allen touches on a very crucial painpoint for festivals when it comes to artist management. From start to finish, artist management is a complex ordeal, from the first few steps of reaching out to an artist about performing (or accepting their application to play), to the final steps of issuing their last payment and fulfilling any remaining rider requirements. With so many things in play all the time, having a centralized management HQ is absolutely essential for festival directors, and since Marcato is a web-based software, it means not a single member of your team is ever out of touch.

Every festival director has at least one “backstage horror story” resembling a scenario where an artist has refused to take the stage due to some contradiction regarding either their rider or contract, meanwhile you have thousands of screaming fans eagerly awaiting their arrival… We’ve all been there one time or another. Having detailed artist information on hand when push comes to shove can be a huge advantage and its in exactly these kinds of situations where Marcato can become your stronghold, allowing you to pull up the artists’ signed contract, or the amended rider, via a laptop or tablet, quickly proving your case with enough time to get the band on stage on time!

Festivals who don’t use Marcato and have to deal with this kind of artist management usually end up relying on Excel-type programs, or at best Google Sheets, to manage their artists. This kind of management system doesn’t effectively offer the functionality needed to solve the complicated requirements that come with the territory, nor do they allow for the flexibility needed when managing events this complex. Marcato gets you off the spreadsheets and on to a highly specialized solution designed with your exact needs in mind.

To talk to a representative today about setting up your Marcato account, click here.

How to Accept Festival Applications: New Tech for a New Time!


Before an artist even steps on stage at many festivals, they’ve already gone through a long and grueling festival application process to get there, having to submit their band’s information and song samples to the festival’s headquarters months prior to the event, in hopes that they will be selected to play. It isn’t just artists who go through this festival application process either! Often vendors, volunteers, and press will have to apply to participate as well – using the exact same method.

Festivals that choose their line-up this way are often called ‘showcase festivals’, while festivals who exclusively seek out bands and ask them to play are referred to as ‘curated festivals’. That being said, most festivals out there use a mix of both methods to finalize their lineup. This blog is written for those event organizers who might be interested in exploring how to accept festival applications, even if it’s only for some of your artists, but if you only curate your festival and don’t accept any applications, you might be more interested in our blog that explores “how to advance an artist”, if so click here to read that!

The Old Model:

Back in the good ol’ days, before digital music or email was a thing, production companies use to receive & process thousands of applications by hand. Attached to each application was a mixtape and a huge sense of anticipation. If you were lucky, unpaid interns would sort through the first bulk of applications, weeding out any obvious rejections, and then they would hand the rest over to the you, the festival director, for evaluation.

The New Model (That still isn’t great):

Much of this workflow still exists in the modern world, but it has come a long way with the use of emails and mp3s. However, even in this day and age, once your festival’s applications are successfully collected (most commonly done via email), there is still a lot of work to do. You’re left on your own to manage a massive amount of information that is usually scattered across multiple excel documents and missing emails. The applications then need to be rejected or accepted, and ultimately transferred into useful formats, like a website or mobile app-ready lineup, complete with bios, photos, and social media links… all of which still feels very cumbersome and (let’s be honest) is still a huge pain in the ass.

At Marcato, we understand your pain…

The Future Is Now Model (AKA The Marcato Model):

We’ve developed a very specialized festival management software solution that is designed to assist you and your team with every administrative task required to stage a great festival. One of Marcato’s most popular functionalities is the way our software allows you to accept, judge, and advance (or reject) all of your festival’s applications within one easy-to-use system. Marcato even helps you notify your applicants of their status with bulk email blasts delivering the good (or bad) news. That’s right, no more overflowing inboxes, just one click and you’re done! When you’ve finished processing all of your festival applications, Marcato then assists you with the final step of seamlessly publishing your accepted applicants’ information to your website or mobile app, via XML web feeds, in the form of an artist lineup, vendor listing, volunteer schedule, or participating media list!

Check out our infographic on festival applications!


Head over to MARCA.TO/SEE-THE-FUTURE to sign up for a demo and discover whether Marcato might be a fit for you!

X Games Hosts Record-Breaking Year Using Marcato!

X Games - Marcato

Congratulations to one of our newest clients, the X Games, on pulling off a very successful event!

This past week, January 22-25th, 2015, the ESPN X Games played host to their annual winter games in Aspen, CO. Since 1997, fans attending the extreme sports competition have come to expect history in the making, year after year.  With a record-breaking crowd of 115,000 attendees watching, and athletes from all over the globe pushing the limits to perform, the X Games lived up to their reputation.

The X Games host two signature events every year; a winter event in Aspen, Colorado, and a summer event, which take place in Austin, Texas.

We were very excited to be a part of the 2015 Winter X Games and, after a very successful week on the slopes, we want to officially welcome this legendary establishment to the Marcato family!

Austin, here we come!

Happy Holidays From Marcato!

Marcato Staff

From all of us here at Marcato, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

Our offices will be closed from December 24th – January 2nd,  however if you need assistance with anything please contact us at and someone will be in touch as soon as possible.

The Launch of Marcato Enterprise: Plan Smarter, Collaborate Anywhere, Execute Faster

Marcato Enterprise LaunchGame-changing NEW SOFTWARE For Festivals & Events – Marcato Enterprise!

Let’s be straight – there comes a point in festival planning when the event has become so amazing, so elaborate, and so intricate that maintaining full control over the entire production is nearly impossible, if not completely out of reach!


For the past 6 years Marcato has been working with festivals around the world to provide a solution to properly address this issue. In 2010, our festival management software, Marcato Festival, was proudly launched and is now being used by some of the world’s greatest festivals to manage performances, complex contracts, production requirements, credentials and overall event logistics. It allows organizers, artists, volunteers and other stakeholders access to information to work efficiently and make pivotal decisions quickly. Marcato saves festival organizers money, time, and stress by supporting efficient workflows for team members and providing deep insight into operations.

As the festival producing game continues to evolve, no one in the business has been surprised by the fact that the events have become more complex beasts to manage. In turn, our clients have been challenging us to deliver an offering that has all the kick-ass features of our Marcato Festival software plus additional tools for supporting complex needs for things like credential and asset management and protecting sensitive information; they’ve asked us to build integration points so that our software will link up with other platforms essential to staging their events; they’ve asked us to add the additional technological horsepower to do all of these things and… we’ve delivered it!

The new software’s name is Marcato Enterprise. It includes all the functionality that our Marcato Festival offering has plus powerful tools for:

  • Credential, Parking & Catering Management: Request, approve and issue credentials for your guests, VIPs, production staff, vendors, media, and volunteers.

  • Asset Management: Allocate and track your event’s assets in detail, including the asset’s location and the person responsible for it at any given time.

  • Integrating with other Event Support Systems: Share data directly from Marcato’s powerful Credential Management Module to Access Control systems such as RFID via a Credentials API.

  • Comprehensive Permission Controls: Granular level permission controls allow you to share relevant information with team members and keep your confidential data secure

  • On-Site Changes and Requests: Mobile-friendly request & authorization tools give you the power of key Marcato functionality from your smartphone or tablet while on-site.

  • As well as a long list of other helpful features, including: Custom reporting, asset monetization, and onsite services.


Marcato Enterprise is our response to all the feedback over the years that started with “wouldn’t it be cool if,” or ended with, “I really wish the system could to that.”

It’s exciting times here at Marcato. Our team is ready to hear more about the challenges event organizers face and we’re pumped to deliver solutions that support organizers in their quest to deliver great events and great times

If you’d like to lower the stress in your life and reduce your workload, if you’d like to work with a software and a team that can help you plan smarter, collaborate anywhere, and executive faster…. You should click GET STARTED and book your demonstration today!