Independent music festivals in the UK contributed almost £1 billion to the British economy during the five festival seasons that took place between 2010 and 2014, according to new research from the Association Of Independent Festivals which now represents some 50 UK independent festivals, including Bestival, Kendal Calling, Womad, Wakestock and End of the Road.
The group also says that 635,000 music fans attended its members' events in 2014, generating £296 million between them. The survey also 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, compared to just 8.3% saying that "headline acts" impact on their festival decision making.
AIF General Manger Paul Reed 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 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".