Happy International Women’s Day to all! We had a chat with Emily Scoggins at Festival Republic about festival life, fans and being a female in the industry…

You were at the O2 Arena before moving across to Festival Republic. What would you say are the main differences working in festivals rather than venues?

There will always be a place in my heart for The O2 arena but I love the distinct audiences that I get to work with on Download, Wireless, Latitude, Reading, Leeds and Electric Picnic etc. They have such passion and excitement for the festivals. Particularly in the case of the Download audience. They feel like the festival truly belongs to them and it does. We listen carefully when they give us feedback and we make improvements accordingly. It’s a strong bond between us.

Download Festival 2019 | Photo by Nici Eberl

Fans are far more brand savvy these days. What tips would you give to venues and festivals looking for a brand partnership?

Think about your audience. What needs do they have and who can truly solve them? If you can give the opportunity of delighting fans to a brand that wants to create genuine engagement then you’ve struck gold.

Festival life can get extremely busy, especially when the summer season arrives. How do you relax and unwind?

Last summer on one of the very few weekends I wasn’t working, I went to a festival with my husband. I thought I might be constantly in ‘work mode’ but I wasn’t. I was happy as larry! I’ve been going to multiple festivals every year for 23 years – it feels like home to me. There’s still nowhere I’m happier than watching live music. And yes, I was staying in a tent.

There are more awards and recognitions for females across many industries every year. Who are you inspired by?

Honestly, my inspiration comes from the hungry young things who are on their way up in the music industry. The hustlers, the bright sparks, the ones who know their future is there for the taking. The ones who seek me out on twitter to pitch to me, the young women in my team who make the impossible possible on a daily basis, the 145 people who are attending our event to meet women in the industry on Sunday and the 100 women in music who are going to be there to put their hands out and give them a lift up on to the ladder.

We know you believe in putting the fan at the heart of the music business. In an industry that is constantly evolving, what do you think the fans future needs will be and how can we look to meet them?

Fans want to make good choices and they want to support global efforts on climate change, but it can’t happen if you don’t make it easy for them. Doing the right thing has to be the path of least resistance for them and festivals need to ensure it’s simple. For example, we’re introducing a traffic light system at a huge show this year to show the carbon footprint of different foods available. Literally putting a big green sticker and a big red sticker next to different menu items means that they can make an informed choice in the blink of an eye. Simplicity is key.

Emily Scoggins, Festival Republic