Easol Capital

Easol launches financing solution for festival organisers


Easol, a travel and experience commerce technology company, has launched Easol Capital, a financing solution tailor-made for festival organisers. Easol Capital will create a “fairer, flexible and transparent” financing process that puts control back in the hands of festival organisers.

According to Easol, sourcing capital can be difficult for SMEs in the events and travel industries, as traditional finance providers are reluctant to loan following the impact of the pandemic.

Difficulties obtaining capital are compounded by the current cost of living crisis and ongoing supply chain issues which means having a reliable cash flow is more important than ever to secure the future of a festival.

Until now, some ticketing platforms have looked to fill this gap by offering cash advances, but this comes at the expense of festival organisers. Whilst the advances are nominally free, festival organisers have often been tied into contracts with punitive terms around ticketing fees and long exclusivity, which limit organisers’ control over their own booking fees and data:

  • Large fees: With traditional cash advances, festival and event organisers get charged up to 15 per cent of their total turnover, plus other costs.
  • Short advance lengths: Advances are also typically only extended for a few weeks which doesn’t always match the sales cycle of a festival.
  • Profits withheld: Critically, 100 per cent of sales are sometimes withheld until the loan is repaid, making cash flow extremely hard for festival organisers to manage.

Easol Capital is a tailor-made solution for festival organisers. It is designed with the festival sales cycle in mind, and puts organisers back in control of their cash flow. Easol has partnered with specialised lending companies to offer easy access to funding. Here’s how it works:

  • Fairer lending terms: Easol Capital facilitated loans have no interest rate charged but instead, organisers pay a fixed fee which is a percentage of the borrowed amount, typically five to 12 per cent, so it’s always transparent what the loan costs and there are no hidden costs. To cover the borrowing cost, organisers can if they choose, absorb the cost of the loan into their booking fees.
  • Flexible repayment options: Repayments happen automatically as a fixed percentage of weekly sales, and adapt with revenue. So, if sales slow down, repayments do too. Most loans will be repaid within four to eight months, and organisers can repay early or easily access more capital if their circumstances change.
  • Quick and easy application process: Completing an application is free and only takes a few minutes. Organisers receive a decision within a day, and if approved can withdraw the loan immediately.

Currently, Easol Capital can facilitate (subject to the festival organiser meeting the requirements of Easol’s partners) the provision of finance from £1k-£1.5 million for festival organisers, with loans currently live in the UK and US. There are active plans to expand loan sizes and enter most European markets in the next few months.

Ben Simpson, co-founder and CEO of Easol, explained: “We feel that festival and event organisers have not been given the flexibility that they require from many traditional ticketing platforms and finance solutions, for too long. We’re super proud to launch Easol Capital so that we can offer an alternative that works with organisers rather than tying them into terms which may not work for them in terms of cash flow flexibility and in the long term.”

He continued: “More than ever, the pandemic has highlighted to us the importance of flexibility and adaptability, particularly given the unique nature of the festival sales cycle. With the simple and fixed fee structure of Easol Capital, there are fairer interest rates and no nasty surprises of the cost of capital. We believe there is a better way that works for everyone, and we’re excited to be leading this change in the industry!”

The organiser of Meadows in the Mountains secured funding through Easol.

Benjamin Sasse, co-founder of Meadows in the Mountains, commented: “We secured funding from Easol Capital’s partners in its Beta phase and it has been a game changer for our festival. The whole application process was so easy, and we had the money in our bank within 24 hours. Our festival requires a huge amount of logistics and third party suppliers to help build the site on our Bulgarian mountain, and also to provide accommodation and food. Having access to capital during this time is crucial for us to be able to pay people on time and manage our cash flow across the different stages of the festival. Easol is the only provider on the market that gives the flexibility we need. They understand how the sales cycle works and have created a perfect solution.”

Easol will be outlining the benefits of Easol Capital at its Festivals Showcase event streamed globally on September 22, 2022.