Powering the launch of Otherlands, Scotland's most exciting new festival

Find out how switching to Easol gave them full control over their revenue and brand.

Two days before tickets went on sale, the Otherlands team made a critical decision — they moved their entire website and booking system to Easol. After almost a decade of running club events, concerts and festivals across Scotland with FLY Events, Tom Ketley and his team envisioned Otherlands. Established headline acts like Bicep and Jamie XX would be joined by rowdy local party crews, comedy and wellness programmes for 3 days of camping and dancing in the fields of the iconic Scone Palace. 

“We have a company motto, which is good music for good people in great locations,” says Tom. “Otherlands’ whole identity is about nature and the feeling of music, so it took us years to find the right spot. Scone Palace is where the kings and queens of Scotland were once crowned. It has a lot of history, it’s in a beautiful site and very green, so it’s perfect for this camping event.”

“We had the website and everything ready to go. But then we managed to speak to someone at Easol right before launch and we realised how much control the platform could give us over our brand identity and our finances,” says Tom. “So we thought, we have 48 hours, let’s go for it!”

Not only did Otherlands manage to switch to Easol in time for their launch date, but they also expanded their revenue streams and powered ticket sales towards a hugely successful debut year. The first edition of Otherlands received rave reviews and a nomination for Best Festival by DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards, with the second instalment coming this August.   

Here’s how they did it.

Launching our dream website and going on sale 

When Otherlands first started building their website, creating a unique brand that truly reflected the essence of the festival was a top priority.

“We worked with our brand agency, NARI, to build a website on Webflow and the whole idea and concept is that we have this frisson feeling — the way your hairs stand up on the back of your neck when you listen to music,” explains Tom. 

To create this effect, Otherlands uses a custom animated filter that can be seen throughout the website design on graphics and artist lineup photos. The design captured the ethereal and otherworldly atmosphere Tom and the team envisioned for the festival. 

But there was a problem.  

“We invested in getting this built but without realising that after doing all of that you would click ‘book now’ and be taken off to a ticketing partner with a standard ticketing page that had none of our branding and none of the design that we spent time and money on,” says Tom.

As an all-in-one toolkit for festivals, Easol enabled Otherlands to control every aspect of how they market and sell their festival — brand identity, ticketing set up, promotions and more. From the homepage to checkout and payment, the customer never leaves Otherlands’ website to go to a third-party ticketing platform.

When it came time to switch to Easol, Otherlands worked with partners from the Easol Partner Directory. This helped to speed up the migration and website setup process.

“We didn’t have much time,” says Tom, “but we managed to get it all done in a day!”

After migration was completed, Otherlands was able to retain their original branding and custom website designs, while also gaining full control over their ticketing and booking journey.

Increasing revenue streams with Easol’s payment stack and add-ons

Owning their entire booking journey and branding wasn’t the first thing that drove Otherlands to change platforms. The festival also found two new revenue streams that they couldn’t tap into with previous ticketing partners.

1. Revenue from booking fees

“Initially, I saw the financial benefits of Easol. We control our booking fees, which is pretty much unheard of,” says Tom. “So, instantly we doubled our revenue from that side of the business.”

On Easol, you control the booking fees. Whether its 8%, 5%, 2% or even 0%.  You can also adjust booking fees based on different experiences you may be selling. You could charge 3% on your tickets, but 1% on your accommodation options — the choice is yours, as it should be.

2. Revenue from add-ons

Tickets aren’t the only thing you can sell on Easol. Sell any unit you can think of: room and board, surfboards, yoga classes and more. Otherlands used Easol to sell glamping, travel, wellness and other add-ons, which opened new revenue opportunities.

“Not only are we directing all the traffic to one place, but we’re also able to have that revenue ourselves because we can add margins onto those different things and bring it all in,” explains Tom. “It was revenue that we didn’t have or weren’t able to monetise for us. Before, maybe we’d be able to agree a kickback with someone externally and they keep all the data or you don’t even know what’s being sold, you have to check. This way, we’re in control of everything to do with our event in one place.”

What’s more, Otherlands is also able to access their revenue more easily and regularly, which enables better financial visibility and cash flow management.

“When we started out, we’d sell our tickets and then get our revenue after the event was over. So you’d have to pay for everything upfront. But with Easol, we’re able to get revenues weekly, which allows us to pay for things as they come in and it’s just overall much more manageable,” says Tom. “Our accountant greatly appreciates it.”

Optimising ticket sales strategy

“One of the main draws for us moving to Easol is the expertise held by the team in selling experiences and festivals,” says Tom. “So we’ve been able to get great help and guidance.” 

When Otherlands saw a lull in ticket sales, they reached out to the Creator Success team for strategic advice.

“Normally we just launch our event and make a big thing about the initial launch and then be on sale for 9 months. But after chatting with Easol’s support team, we changed our strategy and started to take tickets on and off sale,” says Tom. “From that alone, we were able to sell what we sold in a month, in a single weekend.”

After a successful debut year, Tom and the team are powering full steam ahead for the second edition of Otherlands this August.

“I thought folks would just go for the music but actually loads of people attended the side events too — yoga was full in the mornings, comedy tents were packed,” says Tom. “So, that’s definitely something we want to build on this year with Otherlands and Fly.”

Looking to maximise your festival’s revenue?

To hear more festival creator success stories and learn more about Easol’s toolkit for festivals, check out the Easol Showcase: Festivals Edition. Or book a demo today and discover how the platform can grow your sales and supercharge your festival business.