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Independent festivals boost UK economy

Independent festivals contributed more than £1bn in revenue to the UK economy between 2014 and 2017, according to a report by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

The AIF published the special 10-year report on Tuesday, highlighting that festival-goers spent more than £386m in 2017, with £34.7m of that being spent in the local area of the festival they attended.

These figures are based on an audience of 800,000 people across 65 AIF member festivals in 2017, with an average spend of £483.14 per head reported by respondents to the annual AIF audience survey.

The new figures show growth in AIF members’ contribution to the UK economy, with an AIF report over a four-year period between 2010 and 2014 showing the same estimated £1bn contribution as the recent three-year figures.

Since AIF began spend tracking in 2009, the output per head has increased by around one third – from £364.17 in 2009 to £483.14 in 2017. Over that period, the amount spent on festival tickets has increased only modestly, from £154.09 in 2009 to £185.89 in 2017 up 20.6 per cent.

Across the 10-year period, when asked about the single most important factor influencing ticket purchases, an average of 53 per cent of people said that it was the “atmosphere, vibe, character and quality of event”.

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.”

Image: Pexels

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