Independent festivals have put more than £1bn into the UK economy

People attending independent events spent £466 each on going to events last year. Independent festivals have contributed more than £1bn to the UK economy over the last five years, according to the Association of Independent Festivals. In 2014 alone, these festivals generated £296m, according to the organisation.

The AIF says more than 635,000 fans attended events put on by its 50 members last year, from the 1,500 who attended Barn on the Farm to the 75,000 who went to the Isle of Wight festival. The average festival goer spent £466.01 on attending a festival, which covers money spent at the event and locally.

The £1bn figure was calculated by multiplying average audience spend per year by total number of attendees per year.

“Who’d have thought our little organisation, which started off with five festivals meeting in a broom cupboard, would grow to be an economic powerhouse generating over a billion quid in four years for the economy?” said AIF co-founder Rob Da Bank.

Despite the seeming health of the festival market, a number of events are not happening this year, with Sonisphere – the metal event at Knebworth – being the biggest of the shows to lie fallow for 2015. The association’s figures cover its 50 member festivals – to count as an independent festival the operator can’t hold more than 5% of the global turnover of the live music industry or be 50% owned by such an entity.


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