Why the world's leading festival organisers are leaving traditional ticketing platforms behind

Meet Easol’s experience commerce – the new way to grow your festival business.

The old ways of selling tickets weren't designed to help you grow your business

We know how challenging it's been for experience creators, like you, to sell experiences without the right tools because we've done it ourselves.

In 2014, Lisa and I co-created Rise – a snow sports and music festival in the French Alps.  We grew fast – going from just 1000 to 5000 people in two years.

And as the sales grew, so did the complexity of what we were selling. We started out with a lift pass and festival ticket but quickly added accommodations, airport transfers and overnight coaches, as well as a series of on-site experiences ranging from mountain meals to husky safaris and paragliding.

The result?

We had to use 6 different platforms to operate – stitching together ineffective tools, manually tracking bookings, paying third-party booking fees, and investing heavily in custom solutions.

Traditional ticketing platforms, in particular, provided a terrible experience for us festival organisers. They hold you hostage – requiring payments to be handled on their terms and on their websites – all so they can justify excessive fees and vague terms. It's not a crime, but it sure feels like it.

It became clear to us that we experience creators deserve better.

Today, Rise runs on Easol – the first experience commerce platform for managing your entire business, on your terms. Together with other world-leading festivals, like Envision, Wanderlust and Indie Chefs’ COMMUNE, we’ve been having our biggest years in sales and growth since making the switch to experience commerce.

How festivals are growing with experience commerce

Envision Festival on getting triple digit growth in ticket sales

Located in an idyllic spot between jungle and ocean on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, Envision Festival is one of the world’s most unique lifestyle festivals, spanning art, culture and wellness.

"We multiplied our revenue by 600% during key launch periods using Easol this year," says Envision Festival’s Head of Sales, Sean Choi. “They really deliver everything they say they will do.”

With Easol, you can sell tickets directly on your own website with smart booking, payment, and marketing tools that all work together brilliantly. Envision Festival, for example, has been using Easol to launch limited-duration promotions, sell festival add-ons and offer payment plans to boost conversion. 

“The attention to detail for the user experience and the sales journey on Easol has made a huge difference to our average basket value," says Sean Choi. “With purchase add-ons alone, we’ve significantly increased our average basket value.

Wanderlust on finding the "holy trinity" of platforms

Over at the world-renowned wellness brand, Wanderlust, CEO and co-founder Sean Hoess says, “Easol is the holy trinity we’ve been looking for, enabling us to handle ticketing, lodging and scheduling in one platform.”

Sean Hoess continues, “The team at Easol really understand the complexity of our business because they’ve created complex events themselves. On top of regular tickets, our festivals also include a load of classes that attendees can choose from. Plus there are accommodation options and add-ons as well."

To get started on Easol, Wanderlust launched its world-renowned Wanderlust 108 events – a series of mindful triathlons that combine running, yoga, meditation and community in several cities, including New York, Milan, Berlin, Lisbon and more. This year, it has also added virtual events for the first time, featuring multi-cam live streams and exclusive content.

Because of its approach to experience commerce, Easol has enabled Wanderlust to think more creatively, go after new ventures seamlessly, and bring in a new era of wellness experiences. Recently, they've launched Winterlust — a new festival concept combining yoga and skiing.

Sean continues, “This is the kind of festival that’s tailor-made for what Easol does so well. Between yoga and skiing, we’re also looking into lodging, culinary experiences and other add-ons, ticketing and website needs to be seamless, and that’s where Easol really shines.”

Why festival organisers are switching from traditional ticketing to experience commerce

1. No more hefty fees, long-term contracts and payment delays

Using traditional ticketing platforms often comes with hefty booking fees, long-term contract negotiations, and delays between tickets purchased and money hitting your bank account. These terms have been accepted as the status quo even when none have worked in your favour. That all ends on Easol.

We have fully transparent pricing with zero long-term contracts – pay on a monthly or annual plan and cancel whenever you want. Easol fees can also get as low as 1%. You’re also free to sell additional tickets on other platforms if you wish. Finally, you get full control over how you sell.

And when it comes to receiving payments, the process is as simple as adding your bank details in Easol. Payments will automatically hit your bank account every week. 

2. Full control over booking fees

Speaking of fees, third-party ticketing platforms are notorious for adding extra fees at checkout for your customers. As experience creators ourselves, we never liked these fees because they either cut into our margins or forced us to pass it onto our customers without any value-add for them. These fees simply never sat right with us.

With our platform, you control the booking fee. Charge what you want or pass on the savings to your customers. The decision is entirely up to you, as it should be.  

3. Preparation for privacy changes in iOS and beyond

One of the main ways to protect your business against privacy changes like Apple’s new ATT framework (App Tracking Transparency) is to sell tickets on your own domain.

The advantage of running the whole customer journey on your domain is that you will have full visibility of who converts and who drops off. If a potential customer opts out of off-app tracking while checking out with a third-party, then you’ll never know, and retargeting them with advertising will be near-impossible. 

That’s why the only holistic solution to Apple’s new privacy features is owning the whole customer journey, from your website to checkout.

4. Sell anything you can think of – not just tickets

There’s more to festivals than tickets. More and more creators are expanding what they offer at their events – from accommodations and excursions to workshops and exclusive packages. All of these add-ons can be a great way to delight your customers, set your festival apart from others, boost basket value and overall revenue for your business.

With Easol, you can sell any unit you can think of: days, nights, weeks, seats, room and board, paddle-boards, entrées, and more. Go big, small, global, local, virtual. Anything's possible. 

Not only can Easol handle any type of experience, it can also manage modifiers so you can provide even more options for customers, such as upgrades, equipment hire, airport transfer times and more. 

Gone are the days where your customers have to book festival tickets, accommodation, and add-on experiences separately. Sell everything in one place, on your own website.

5. Better customer journey, optimised for conversions

Most traditional ticketing platforms redirect customers away from your website to their own platform. It’s a poor customer journey that decreases conversion rates, limits basket value on purchases and, as mentioned before, causes issues with privacy changes. 

Easol allows customers to book directly on your website with a checkout designed to help increase basket value and drive your sales growth. See our Vagabond demo's checkout page for an example.

6. Customer and sales data are always within reach

Some third-party ticketing platforms force you to request sales reports and customer data for your own festival. This is no small inconvenience – it can slow down the growth of your business. 

With Easol, you are the only entity that owns and has access to your business data. You never have to give your customer data to anyone, so you can power your own growth and leave your competitors in the dust. Access all of your data – booked revenue, total guests, weekly sales, stock and more – whenever you need it. 

Your business is your business.

The new way to grow your festival business is here

We’re on a mission to make the first experience commerce platform that puts the technology, the ownership, and the possibilities in your hands. With Easol, you’ll finally have a platform that’s specially designed for growing your festival business. Manage your entire festival all in one place. Minimize third-party dependencies. Sell on your terms. Grow your festival, fast. 

Ready to get started? Book a demo with us today to see how we can handle the details, while you focus on the dreams.