UK independent festivals contribute £1bn to economy

Music festival

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has published a 10-year report today showing that its member festivals contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy between 2014 and 2017.

Audiences at AIF member festivals spent more than £386m in 2017, with £34.7m of that spent in the local area of the festival they attended, according to the report.

The trade body has been tracking festival spending since 2009, when audience spend per head was £364.17. Figures for 2017 show this has increased by around one third, up to £483.14 per head.

The amount spent on festival tickets has increased by 20.6 percent since 2009, while spending on accommodation has more than doubled, now at £54.59 per head in 2017.

Spending on food and drink has risen 40.5 percent, while the money festival goers spend to get ready for an event has risen from £19.93 per head in 2009 to £32.61 in 2017.

AIF is the UK’s leading non-profit festival trade association. The research was published in the trade body’s 10-year report and presented at its 2018 Festival Congress.

AIF chief executive Paul Reed said: ‘That AIF member festivals have contributed another £1bn to the UK economy – and at a much faster rate than the last billion – shows just how healthy the independent festival market is right now and how quickly it is growing.

‘Not only are these independent festivals providing music fans with fantastic experiences, they are thriving businesses that the country can be proud of, and they are helping support the many other businesses around their sites that festival-goers make use of every year.

‘We are very proud to be celebrating AIF’s 10th anniversary this year. Our special 10-year report is full of insightful statistics, trends and information that show how far our community has come and where we need to aim our lights on the road ahead.’