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Job Envy feature on: Zack Sabban

Wednesday 24th October 2012 | Laura

Hey Zack, hope you’re all good?
Yes, I'm good – another busy day at Festicket, with four meetings, many phone calls, and loads of decisions!

You are the Co-founder and CEO of Festicket, how did the idea come about?
Well, it actually started after a failed attempt at going to Coachella Music Festival in California in 2011. When the multiple bookings of hotels, transfers, tickets and travel got too much, we decided there should be an easier way to go to music events. Festicket.com is the solution to this: it works as a central website to book all you need for festival trip. We even send all your confirmation details in one single email.

What does your average day consist of? (If there is anything such as an average day!)
There isn't an average day at all! As a start-up company, we're building relationships with a lot of different commercial partners – so recently we've been meeting with festival organisers, luxury camping partners, excursion organisers … in between the blizzard of meetings, we squeeze in time in the office to talk about the things we love – music and festivals.

What process goes into putting these unique packages together?
The majority of the festivals we approach are found through word of mouth. We want to find unique, quirky events – so having a personal recommendation from someone on the team, or a friend, is key. That way we guarantee that our trips are genuinely offering something different.

How do you research the best places to stay during the festival for Festicket? Does that come from your own experience?
Where we have direct experience of a festival, we'll obviously work with the places we know and like nearby. Otherwise, we are doing lots of strategic alliances with local ground partners. For example, for Hideout Festival 2013, Festicket bookers will have the option to go on amazing excursions such as a national park tour, or visit a local ranch, or just spending time exploring Croatia’s hidden beaches – so again, we aren't just finding places on google!

What are the qualities that someone needs to work in your position?
Oh man... too many to count! I'm working long hours at the moment - you need real determination to make it work. Since Festicket is a unique site, we have to think carefully about how to make it work best for our customers. Other than that, a love for festivals. The passion Festicket has for events is totally reflected in the customer experience. I think there would be something wrong if I didn't want to got to every single event that we offer.

What’s the best and the worst thing about your job?
The best – team bonding trips of course, Monegros was amazing. The worst – long hours. But at least I'm doing something I love.

Can you count how many festivals you have been to?! And which one has been your favourite?
I know its obvious to write 'too many to remember' – but definitely too many to count in the five minutes I have free now! Kazantip in the Ukraine was definitely the most unique – absolutely wild, and such a different crowd to the identikit people at UK festivals.

What’s the funniest/ weirdest thing that happened you at work?
While at Monegros: getting mobbed by three six-foot tall, ripped Latvian guys dressed as Smurfs while buying drinks was pretty surreal


What advice would you give to others wanting to start up their own business?
Make sure you're willing to put in the time you need to make it work. It won't happen overnight – you have to keep at it.

What is next for Festicket?
We've got some amazing packages coming up. For example, DAY ZERO festival in December is celebrating 'The End of the World' between a Mayan stepped pyramid and beautiful lakes in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. The line-up is a pretty incredible list of underground house / techno, based around the Crosstown Rebels label. We'll also have packages to all-night masked balls as part of Carnivale di Venezia in February 2013: an opportunity to dress up to the maximum in outrageously decadent costumes. A brand-new website at Festicket.com is on the way at the end of October too... you'll be able to listen to headliners while you read about the festivals!

Cheers for your time!

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