How Fun Fun Fun Fest Went From 3,000 to 16,000 Attendees in Under 5 Years

Graham Williams of Transmission Entertainment on September 29, 2010


In Episode #275 Nathan interviews Graham Williams, one of the creators of Fun Fun Fun festival and head of Transmission Events. The festival’s first year had only 3,000 attendees…now it lasts 3 days and welcomes 20,000 people. Listen as Nathan and Graham talk about building up an event, the economics of festivals, and why you should start building your dream sooner.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – I’ve never read a business book… 1984
  • What CEO do you follow? — None
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— I think I made the right decisions for the most part…I wish I’d started my company a little earlier.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:40 – Welcoming Graham to the show
  • 02:10 – Started Fun Fun Fun festival in 2006 with the head of Alamo Drafthouse
  • 02:45 – Cost around $100k to produce and sold around 3000 tickets in the first year
  • 03:15 – Left Emo’s to start Transmission Events, a booking and promotions company
  • 03:20 – How did you get 3000 people to an event that had just launched?
  • 03:40 – “A lot of flyering and street-team work”
  • 04:07 – Now a 3-day festival with 20,000 attendees
  • 04:24 – Now costs $4-5 million to produce
  • 05:50 – Currently run by a local manager
  • 05:10 – What’s driven the growth of the festival?
  • 05:40 – “You find your audience and respect that audience”
  • 06:22 – Ticket sales are the bulk of revenue – then sponsorship and bar sales
  • 06:55 – A weekend pass costs a little over $200
  • 07:22 – Around half the total revenue is in ticket sales
  • 08:30 – Sponsors pay more per head because of the opportunity to target an audience
  • 11:00 – The festival feeds into Graham’s year-round business
  • 11:20 – Find Graham at Transmission Events or Fun Fun Fun Fest
  • 12:35 – It’s aimed at licensing information obtained from defunct websites

3 Key Points:

  1. Learn all you can – but you need to put that learning into action.
  2. Find your audience and respect them. Cater to their needs. Build your niche.
  3. Start sooner. Whatever you’re thinking about doing…do it.

This episode brought to you by:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives