A Manchester-based worldwide events company is leading the way to help the events industry bounce back as the world emerges from the pandemic.
Events experts at Mustard Media say all the signs are that 2022 will be a bumper year for festivals and events.
They are expecting to help their clients sell 1.2 million tickets in the next 12 months with 50 events and festivals, covering three continents and 13 countries featuring on the calendar.
The company, which has offices in Ancoats, Manchester, has built a reputation for being the go-to agency for selling tickets working with festivals, events and destinations across the globe.
In the 12 months to August 2021, by diversifying in extremely challenging circumstances, they helped their clients to sell more than 620,000 tickets and generated more than £35 million of revenue in ticket sales, despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the events industry.
The company was founded by friends Rob Masterson, Ed Norris and Oli Hackett, who met while studying at university in Manchester.
In 2008, they started a club night – Drop the Mustard – where they made a name for themselves hosting regular events across the city. After the success of these events and festivals, promoters from around the world started to ask for help, and Mustard Media was born in 2013.
Over the last eight years, they have provided marketing solutions to festivals and events spanning 18 countries as far away as Australia, working alongside tourism boards, award winning festivals, premier league sports clubs, and large-scale family events.
Their clients include Manchester Pride, Elrow, The Warehouse Project, Parklife, BPM Festival (Portugal), and Afro Nation (Portugal, Ghana & Puerto Rico), Camp Bestival, EDC & Rolling Loud (Portugal). They also co-founded Annie Mac Presents: Lost and Found Festival (Malta).
But when COVID-19 put a stop to live events and mass gatherings, Masterson, Norris and Hackett knew they had to diversify to survive.
To keep the industry going, Mustard Media launched ‘Business Keeps on Dancing’ in April bringing together experts and thought leaders in a series of free webinars.
Speakers from brands including Facebook, Parklife Festival, and entertainment brand Bongo’s Bingo shared valuable insights with thousands of brand owners and marketers across the globe.
“We work with some of the best brands and prestigious festivals in the world and we thought we were going to be nuked by Covid,” said Masterson.
“The last 18 months have been extremely difficult, but we adapted and decided to use the time with our teams to help 4,000 event owners around the world with Business Keeps on Dancing. We now have a bigger network and a better profile as a company from that initiative.
“Over the course of the year we’ve been riding the public sentiment and reacting to positive news to get tickets on sale quickly as events have been allowed to reopen.”
As the pandemic progressed, Mustard Media also pivoted to working on outdoor family events. One of their biggest projects was Dino Kingdom, the outdoor family adventure trail which sold over 150,000 tickets across multiple locations.
Their campaign for the upcoming festive season includes Christmas at Bute Park in Cardiff, which sold more than 40,000 tickets in 48 hours. Its campaign for Homobloc, Manchester’s queer block party for all, saw 10,000 plus tickets sell in a matter of days.
“Despite the challenges this year, it’s been a busy one for us, and one that we’re really proud of,” said Masterson.
“We’re confident that next Summer will be even bigger, we’ve already seen huge successes with the events we’ve been working on this year and we’re excited about what 2022 has in store.”
A team of 20 ‘Mustards’ is now focusing on filling dancefloors and events across the world.
Masterson added: “It’s fantastic to see live events happening again especially when people had such a difficult road to get there.
“Our team is growing again with some amazing new team members and a recruitment drive still going on for more new faces and more expertise. Events are back.”