The 2011 National Eisteddfod in Wrexham in August made a loss of £90,000, organisers have confirmed.
The annual cultural festival recorded a loss for the second year running following a deficit of £47,000 at the Blaenau Gwent event in 2010.
The cash shortfall was discussed by members of the eisteddfod council meeting in Aberystwyth on Saturday.
Chief Executive Elfed Roberts said the loss was a "burden" the organisation had to ensure could not happen again.
He said the eisteddfod council had agreed £200,000 of savings and would be making changes to next year's event.
"The idea so far has been try and identify savings which will not affect the activities on the eisteddfod field.
"Up till now we have succeeded, but what we have done so far might not be enough, so we might have to revisit [these] on a monthly basis until we find more savings.
"We are dependent on so many things which are out of our control," added Mr Roberts.
The eisteddfod needs either more radical change to ensure its future or more money from other sources, he said.
The wider economic situation had affected the festival's evening ticket sales, income from trade stands and its corporate sponsorship, which was how the event had made a loss of 4%.
"We controlled the eisteddfod's expenditure once again this year, and this loss is not an indication of any financial mismanagement."
Liberal Democrat AM for north Wales Aled Roberts, who was chairman of the eisteddfod's local committee in Wrexham, said it had doubled the number of adults in the county wanting to learn Welsh and boosted interest in Welsh-medium education.
"The eisteddfod, if nothing else, has strengthened a Welsh identity and I believe it will strengthen the position of the Welsh language locally," he said.
Elfed Roberts warned in July that jobs could be at risk if the National Eisteddfod was forced to make more financial savings.
The Welsh government has said it is committed to the festival.
It will contribute money directly to the eisteddfod when the Welsh Language Board is abolished next spring.
Plaid Cymru AM Alun Ffred Jones has previously said the eisteddfod needs to look at how it is run in the future.
The former heritage minister suggested it may have to move away from some traditions if it was to be profitable.