Travel and experience commerce technology company Easol has launched a new financing solution that aims to give festival organisers better control over cash flow.

Easol said the new tool, Easol Capital, will ensure organisers are no longer tied into advance contracts with restrictive and often unfair terms with traditional ticketing companies.

The new solution facilitates funding from £1k-1.5m with flexible repayment plans that adapt to a festival’s revenue provided by chosen lending partners.

With traditional cash advances, festival and event organisers get charged up to 15% of their total turnover, plus other costs. Advances are also typically only extended for a few weeks which doesn’t always match the sales cycle of a festival. The total amount of sales are sometimes withheld until the loan is repaid, which Easol said makes it hard for festival organisers to manage.

Easol’s facilitated loans have no interest rate charged but instead, organisers pay a fixed fee which is a percentage of the borrowed amount, typically 5-12%. To cover the borrowing cost, organisers can if they choose, absorb the cost of the loan into their booking fees.

Using the tool, repayments happen automatically as a fixed percentage of weekly sales, and adapt with revenue. Most loans will be repaid within 4-8 months, and organisers can repay early or access more capital if their circumstances change.

Easol co-founder and CEO Ben Simpson 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.

“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.”

Benjamin Sasse, co-founder of 3,000-capacity Bulgarian festival Meadow in the Mountains (pictured) said he secured funding from Easol Capital’s partners in its beta phase and it has been a “game changer” for the 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.”