Business News Live Business

Indie festivals contributed a billion to UK economy between 2010 and 2014, says AIF

By | Published on Friday 24 April 2015


Independent music festivals in the UK contributed about £1 billion to the British economy during the five festival seasons that took place between 2010 and 2014, according to stats from the Association Of Independent Festivals which now represents 50 of the UK’s indie fests.

The trade group also reckons that 635,000 music fans attended its members’ events just last year, generating £296 million between them. And a portion of that figure comes from “audience spend along the supply chain including local businesses”, with £80 million odd benefiting other suppliers and companies based near festival sites during the five years AIF researched.

Other stats published by the AIF yesterday – based on a survey of festival-goers – revealed that 49% of those interviewed said they chose to attend an independent festival over taking a summer holiday, while 58.2% said “general atmosphere, overall vibe and character of event” was the single most important factor in choosing a festival to go to.

That was compared to just 8.3% saying that “headline acts” impact on their festival decision making. Which is interesting, given promoters at most larger music fests will say headliners are key to ticket sales, hence the negotiating power of headline level artists and their pesky agents.

The stats frenzy comes as AIF launches a new initiative called Festival Fever, which will see indie festivals bigging up their independent status, and the launch of an AIF YouTube channel and a fan footage competition, the prize for which will be access to all AIF-member festivals. Which would keep the winner busy.

Commenting on all this, AIF General Manger Paul Reed told reporters: “Our extensive research clearly shows that the independent music festival sector is thriving and enjoying an extended period of fantastic growth. Over the last four 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”.

He went on: “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”.