AIF

UK festival cancellations pass 20 milestone

Over 100 of the nation’s festivals could disappear in 2024 without intervention.

London, 13th March 2024

21 UK festivals have now announced a postponement, cancellation or complete closure in 2024.

Cotswolds-based Nibley Festival has announced that this year’s event will be its last, soon after Bradford’s Bingley Festival announced that its 2024 edition will not go ahead.

Promoters of both festivals have cited rapidly rising production costs as the reason why running their event is no longer viable.

The timing of this milestone suggests that the number of festival cancellations this year will far outstrip 2023, when a total 36 festivals cancelled before they were due to take place, according to research from the Association of Independent Festivals.

Without intervention, it’s expected that the UK could see over 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to rising costs.

Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.

At the start of February, The AIF launched a new campaign for a VAT reduction on festival tickets that would save many event promoters from closure.

The 5% For Festivals campaign is an awareness campaign that seeks to inform festival-goers about the problems that music festival promoters have faced over the last five years, encouraging them to contact their MPs to lobby for a much needed VAT reduction on tickets.

Temporary support from the UK Government – lowering VAT from 20% to 5% on ticket sales for the next three years – is all that’s needed to give festival promoters the space they need to rebuild.

AIF CEO John Rostron said: “It’s with grave concern that we again sound the alarm to Government upon passing this critical milestone. UK festivals are disappearing at a worrying rate, and we as a nation are witnessing the erosion of one of our most successful and unique cultural industry sectors. We have done the research: a reduction of VAT to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all of the festival businesses that are likely to fall by the wayside this year and many more over the years to come. We need this intervention now.”

5% For Festivals Campaign Logos

Festival Images

About AIF

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK’s leading national not for profit festival trade association representing the interests of 101 UK music festivals, ranging from 500 to 80,000 capacity. AIF Festivals collectively reach over 3.3 million people every year, and AIF represents over 53% of all festivals in the UK that are 5,000+ capacity. AIF member festivals include some of the most successful and innovative festivals in the UK including the likes of GreenBelt, El Dorado, Mighty Hoopla, Deershed, Valley Fest, End of The Road, Notting Hill Carnival, Pitchfork London, Field Maneuvers, We Out Here and many more. Find out more at www.aiforg.com.

AIF

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK’s leading national not for profit festival trade association representing the interests of 105 UK music festivals, ranging from 500 to 80,000 capacity.