Travel and experience commerce technology company Easol is launching Easol Capital, a new financing solution tailor-made for festival organisers.
Sourcing capital can often be difficult for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the events and travel industries, as traditional finance providers continue to be reluctant when it comes to offering loans after the pandemic.
The current cost of living crisis and ongoing supply chain issues in the UK have made it even harder to obtain funds and secure the future of an event or festival.
Easol also said that while advances are nominally free, organisers have been tied to contracts with punitive terms around ticketing fees and long exclusivity. This limits the organisers’ control over their own booking fees and data.
Festival and events organisers can be charged up to 15% of their total turnover with other costs with traditional cash advances. Advances are also typically extended for just a few which does not always match the festival’s sales cycle and profits can sometimes be withheld until the loan is repaid.
Easol Capital has partnered with specialist lending companies to offer easier access to funding for events and festival organisers.
The financing solution will facilitate loans that have no interest rate charged, but allows organisers instead to pay a fixed fee which is a percentage of the borrowed amount. This usually equates to between 5% and 12%. Organisers can also absorb the cost of the loan into their booking fees if they wish.
Easol Capital will also offer flexible repayment options, with repayments happening automatically as a fixed percentage of weekly sales. This will adapt with revenue, so if sales slow down, so do the repayments. Most loans will be repaid in four to eight months and organisers are able to repay early or access more capital if needed.
The application process has also been made easier and free, with organisers receiving a decision in a day and can withdraw the loan immediately, if approved.
Should the organisers meet the requirements of its partners, Easol Capital can facilitate the provision of finance from £1,000 ($1,100/€1,100) up to £1.5m in the UK and the US.
Ben Simpson, co-founder and chief executive of Easol, said: “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.”
Benjamin Sasse, co-founder of Meadows in the Mountains, a festival held in Bulgaria, added: “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.
“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.”