TV-themed festivals, events and experiences have seen a major rise in popularity over the past two years, with the overall value of the licensing of brands for such events worth $533m last year.

Earlier this month, fans of UK TV show Peaky Blinders launched its first official festival, billed as an “immersive re-creation of the Peaky Blinders world.” The event attracted more than 40,000 people over the two days, with more than 200 actors and musicians amongst the crowds recreating famous scenes.

Anna Knight, vice-president of licensing at Informa Markets, said, according to the Guardian newspaper: “What we are living in right now is an experience economy. Experiences are what people want to buy now. These pop-ups and experiences tap into a cult level following by true fans spending money at a high level. You’re not just looking at a £10 T-shirt.”

The overall value of the licensing of brands for events, themed attractions, experiences and promotions was worth $533m last year, up almost 21 per cent on 2017, according to figures from Brand Licensing Europe.

Fans have also flocked to experience events such as TV channel Comedy Central’s FriendsFest, which started in 2015 as a five-day pop-up experience in London. During its first year of production, only 5,000 tickets were sold at £5 each. Tickets now cost £29 and attract hundreds of thousands of fans.

It now tours the UK for three months a year, and will host events in Spain, Poland, Germany and Russia.

Image: Terry Kearney