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Festivals Toolkit: Financial Planning

Your budget is a critical management document and should include all likely costs at the ‘ going rate’ and reflect good practice with regard to remuneration for the arts practitioners involved. As budgeting is also fundamental to fundraising always resist the temptation to give a gloss to your projections – inflating income, deflating expenditure – to create a better picture.
Festivals image financial planning

Depending on the nature of the event, your budget headings may include:


  • artists' fees and expenses
  • organisers’ time and expenses
  • administration and related costs including telephone, stationery and postage
  • venue costs
  • insurance
  • license fees e.g. entertainment license; costs of copyright clearance
  • equipment purchase/hire
  • technical support including technicians’ fees, set-up or installation costs
  • invigilation and event management costs
  • publicity and marketing e.g. advertising, print and distribution costs, database management
  • professional fees e.g. auditors
  • staff training and development
  • evaluation – both during and after the event
  • contingency against unforeseen costs – often recommended at 5%


  • earned income e.g. ticket sales; fundraising activities; workshop fees
  • sponsorship either as support in-kind (for example, the use of someone’s equipment or professional time) or cash
  • in-kind support or cash from venue or event partner
  • grants from public funding bodies or charitable trusts/foundations
  • commission on sale of artworks

It is often difficult to secure enough funds to realise the ‘dream' budget.  Be prepared to scale down the project if necessary and develop a realistic contingency plan.

The Dumfries and Galloway Council’s The Event Organisers Toolkit for sample financial planners is available to download from the Related Documents section of this page.

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

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