January is the time for resolutions, which all too often include grand promises of getting fit, healthy, and swearing to never return to the vices you had in the previous year. It’s also the time where people pull back from spending, and give up going out in favour of staying in. It’s also the month of Dry January – a public health campaign that encourages people to not drink alcohol for the entire month. 

Whilst all these actions make more than enough sense, as the Christmas-New Year period is (for most) a time of indulgence, parties and overspending, what does this mean for the live events industry? 

If January is a time when people are suffering from the stay-at-home blues, can the live events industry thrive during this time, or is it destined to fail?

Access spoke to some industry professionals who gave us their take on how they survive January, and what they are doing to brighten up the most miserable month of the year.

Yasmin Galletti di Cadilhac, head of production, We Are The Fair:

January tends to feel like a slog in the events industry, a lot of our colleagues take themselves off to Goa or Mexico, restoring themselves in advance of an inevitably hectic festival season from May onwards. All this said, the past few Januarys we have seen an increase in wellbeing and ‘sober’ events taking place. 

“On top of all the ‘dry January events’ such as Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking Festival  and the extended Winter Lights Festivals, we are starting to see a different kind of event, ones that protest the January dieting ‘new year, new me’ culture, a favourite this January being Anti-Diet Riot Fest. With apparent high sales, it’s looking like the old ‘tickets won’t sell in January cos everybody is broke’ myth is being thrown out the water. Event organisers should take note, as these kinds of event audiences grow popular, they will pop up more during our natural festival season from May – October. What’s more, we may need to start rethinking our winters abroad in the sun…” 

Becci Thomson, head of business development, eve:

In the eve office we’re surrounded by bright uplifting colours. Orange is associated with joy, happiness and creativity which is perfect for this time of year as everyone is so busy planning amidst all the grey! This year eve is launching a series of inspiring events to engage with organisers. The first Workshops & Workouts in Veganuary saw 30 event profs rise early to discover the joy of disco yoga and a plant-based breakfast, plus learn the latest nourishment tips from celebrity nutritionist Amanda Ursell, which they could use for themselves and add into their events. We’re going to host these events every quarter as well as other innovative events throughout the year too.

Adam Quigley, head of events at Ministry Venues:

Conversely to the general opinion that January is quiet, we’re actually having our best ever start to the year with lots of new events emerging and brands using our spaces.

“While dry January is a very strong thread in consumer led events, we’re actually seeing an increase in the number of events offering better non-alcoholic options across the whole year and a big trend towards not putting alcohol at the centre of events.

 “The key to success in January is to focus on what people are already looking for and tailor your event content and design to suit a new, healthier and inspirational start to the year.