UK’s independent festivals contribute £1bn to economy in four years

Independent festivals contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy over the four-year period between 2010 and 2014.

According to research by the Association of independent Festivals (AIF), the London based organisation that represents 50 of the UK’s independent music festivals, over 635,000 music fans attended AIF member events in 2014, which ranged from 1,500 capacity Barn on the Farm to 75,000 capacity Isle of Wight Festival.

In 2014 alone, £296m was generated by UK independent festival-goers.

To celebrate the success, AIF has launched a new initiative entitled ‘Festival Fever’ with the aim of highlighting the cultural and economic impact of independent festivals.

Almost half of festival-goers interviewed by AIF (49%) said they chose attending an independent festival over taking a summer holiday last year.

Also in 2014, 58.2% cite “general atmosphere, overall vibe and character of event” as the single most important factor in attending. 8.3% cite “headline acts” and 21.5% “the music generally”- illustrating the broad, multi-arts experiential offering of AIF member events.

Paul Reed, General Manager of AIF said, “ Our extensive research clearly shows that the independent music festival sector is thriving and enjoying an extended period of fantastic growth. Over the last 4 years our members events have contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy, primarily through audience spend, which has benefited the entire country, particularly local businesses in the areas where these festivals take place.

“To celebrate that success we have launched ‘Festival Fever’ to highlight the importance of independent music festivals and to illustrate the huge diversity of wonderful events and experiences our members stage throughout the year. “

AIF Co-Founder Rob da Bank said: “Wow- who’d have thought our little organization which started off with 5 festivals meeting in a broom cupboard has grown to be a economic powerhouse generating over a billion quid in 4 years for the economy… fantastic stuff.

“I’m even more excited to hear the news that about 50% of our target audiences want to go to a festival more than anything, even over a summer holiday. that is the dedication of the UK festival goer…I salute you! Bring on Festival Fever…”Music Business Worldwide

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