The Sunset Strip Music Festival received an additional $100,000 in funding from the West Hollywood City Council for its 2013 event on Monday night as it looks to improve upon lower-than-expected ticket sales from 2012.
Festival organizers asked for the additional financial support to cover production costs, including stages, lights and sound, and venue barriers, traffic control and neighborhood outreach.
The funding was granted in the form of a “financial sponsorship,” and adds to the already city-approved $95,000 to cover sheriff and fire support, and for barricade and street closure services. The city also waives special event permit fees and other city-related fees for the festival.
Event organizers attributed 2012’s low-ticket sales to the hot weather.
“Like past years, the tickets were tracking well, increasing daily, then they suddenly dropped a few days prior to the street festival,” said festival Executive Director Todd Steadman in a letter to the council requesting the additional funding. “This was an unexpected turn that did not fit the trajectory of previous years. The increased temperatures and heat proved to be a deciding factor of whether or not potential festivalgoers purchased tickets last year.”
This year’s festival was moved to early August, and the festival will begin at 3 p.m., rather than 1 p.m., in an effort to avoid the day’s hottest hours.
The festival also secured headliner Linkin Park hoping to broaden the demographic audience. Festival organizers believe this year’s changes will save $200,000 from the previous year’s budget.
According to City Manager Paul Arevalo, the city will do an economic analysis of the festival 2-3 months after the event.
“For successful music festivals, their success is based upon sponsorship and the ‘VIP experience’ they can create,” said Arevalo. “We are not at that level yet.”
Furthermore, Arevalo said, “There are a number of opportunities to discuss; One is do we push for ‘name talent’ versus newer independent talent, which is much cheaper? Do we team up with a promoter? There are a number of options on the table.”
Steadman said that the festival currently has sold 3,500 tickets. When accounting for a typical last-minute ticket sales surge, the festival is on track to meet its goal of 10,000 ticket sales, he added.