After two years without any events, festival audiences may finally get ready for another summer full of festivals. But festival organizers and companies that provide services for them can barely find enough staff. The festival sector is having a “hard time” because of the need for flexibility after the loss of many staff members due to the corona crisis.

For two years, festivals could barely make money, most of which were canceled due to the corona crisis. That’s why many workers in the sector decided to change course. Now that the festivals are back in full swing, organizers, catering companies and suppliers of, for example, light and sound are suffering greatly as a result says

Bente Bollmann (concert organizer MOJO), told the ANP that the staff shortage this year is “an important issue” for the festival industry. “In our industry many self-employed people work and during the corona crisis they were forced to find other work because there were no festivals. They now have other jobs and we notice that,” says Bollmann. “The technicians have largely left in the direction of construction and installation technology.”

To recruit people, the industry has set up a special website. On it, vacancies for part-time jobs, flexible jobs, and permanent positions are shared. Bollmann notes that there is “quite a lot of enthusiasm” for working at a festival, but that it still remains a point of concern. “Things are moving in the right direction in the meantime,” Bollmann says to “It helps that there really are festivals again, which means that working at such an event is again on top of mind with people.”

Flexibility is needed

Festival directors are also noticing that suppliers are struggling with staff shortages. Siart Smit, festival director of Oerol, sees problems especially with transport. “That material arrives later, for example, because there is no driver.” According to Smit, that requires some creativity from all parties. “And that works, but flexibility is needed.”

Not only festivals suffer from the crowds, but also the companies that work with the events. Catering company Holland Promotion Group, which regularly works with festivals throughout the Netherlands, says it is “tremendously” busy. “It’s crazy”.

“For two years nothing could be celebrated, no weddings, no parties, no festivals. Now everyone is catching up on everything at once.” Meanwhile, the caterer also often has to sell no to potential customers. “If I had had five more cars to haul around, I could have filled them all,” he says. However, staff shortages do not bother the company. “That’s all going well, but it’s pushing it.”


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