Festivals across Europe have seen attendances decrease over the course of the year while ticket prices rise, according to IQ Magazine’s European Festival Report 2018. 

The cost of a festival pass rose by an average of 8.3 per cent in 2018 to €178 (£155/$202), only a year after EU festival prices had stabilised.

The report found that 59 of the 105 festivals that disclosed pricing details, or 56.2 per cent, upped their prices from 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, 44 of those froze prices and only two decided to make them cheaper.

IQ said in its report that the main factors driving prices up are the fact that artist fees are rising and that production costs are becoming more expensive.

Eric van Eerdenburg of Dutch powerhouse Mojo Concerts said, according to IQ, the “crisis in talent” is accountable for “pushing up the price that the consumer has to pay”, making it more challenging to attract a young crowd.

He added: “We’re pricing ourselves out of the business by potentially alienating the next generation of fans and not enough people seem to care about that situation.”

In addition, attendance figures fell slightly from 40,575 in 2017 to 39,475 in 2018, with an average decrease of 2.7 per cent.

Only 43 per cent of EU festivals sold out in 2018, compared with 53 per cent the previous year. Eighteen per cent of those that were surveyed reported a downturn in ticket sales.

According to the report, organisers gave a host of reasons for a fall in attendance and ticket sales, citing market saturation, competition from new, small festivals, unfavourable weather, lack of headliners, fear of terror attacks and uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

Image: Eva Rinaldi