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AFO warns of a hard year upcoming for smaller festivals

By | Published on Friday 14 January 2011


The Association Of Festival Organisers, which represents 150 odd smaller and folk festivals, has urged its members to exercise extra caution with their budgeting this year, fearing that the recent VAT increase will impact on profit margins and expected fuel price hikes will increase costs, while wider economic issues may affect ticket sales.

The association also calls on booking agents and festival contractors to be reasonable in their demands, to ensure the UK’s smaller festivals – which operate on much tighter profit margins – don’t hit the wall.

Music Week quote AFO General Secretary Steve Heap as saying: “The debate over artist fees is heating up, but how the hell some agents can justify a 15% increase is beyond me – if events start to disappear, then it is the artists who will ultimately suffer. If people agree to clamp down on costs, then these events will have a sustainable future, but if we’re slaughtered by increases then a lot of festivals could start to disappear”.