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Prestonpans Music and Ale Festival Smashes Box Office Records

Levellers and Much More Brought 1000+ Music Lovers to Meadowmill

Our own local Pans Bands and The Levellers gave the 3rd Annual Music and Ale Festival at Meadowmill on June 2nd the largest audience yet, and as the pictures below show, a great crowd had a great time. It's your challenge to identify Who's Who! [And for the third year running there was no rain!]

Our own Fowler's Prestonpans Real Ales - 80/-, Porter and Wee Heavie - were all sold out by 7.30 pm ensuring that the Real Ale dimension to the Festival saw justice done. Well in time for the major music appreciation in The Levellers who certainly did not disappoint.

The Economics of such Festivals are truly daunting

As the organisers ponder the staging of the 4th Music and Ale Annual Festival in 2008 they have the reassuring intelligence that attendances have risen year on year from 350 to 650 to 1150 ... but the financial analyses show that if you have the Eddi Readers and Levellers of the music world top of the bill breakeven attendance, given Goth-approved moderation in ale consumption, is 2500+ paying visitors at 15 and that is still a considerable distance away. The cost of course is not just the bands. There are marquees in case it rains, venue hire, sound equipment, generators, fencing, toilets, security guards, ambulance staffs and insurances to name some of the more significant all of which costs considerably more than the bands!

The Goth has indicated that it is still an ardent supporter but its 'let's get started' underwriting definitely expired with the third Festival. There are accordingly several future strategies available, and two are under particular scrutiny:

[i] Extrapolate. The hard ground work is done, and the founder investment has been made. We know how to organise it. Let's go for the Big Bang. Get a major national sponsor. Get three headline bands. Spend 15,000 on promotion with an overall cost budget of 60,000. Plan for 15,000 attendees on each of two days - and breakeven if it doesn't rain [pace Glastonbury where it is meant to rain!]

click to enlarge press cutting

[ii] Think quite differently. Build on the obvious major success at the Pans Bands CD Launch earlier this year and their success at the Festival in their own right before The Levellers arrived. Offer the stage for upcoming Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders bands that welcome a gratis pro bono opportunity to perform to an audience of around 1000 x 15 again possibly over two days with their own followings bringing in good support for the whole event. Be indoors perhaps at The Pans Community Centre. Alternatively, take the Festival on tour as a 'bands relay' around south east Scotland for 100 hours of nonstop music at an array of venues.

Watch this space then .. rest assured there will be a # 4!

Published Date: July 2nd 2007

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