AIF reveals 50th festival to be cancelled in the UK in 2024

Featured Image: Maxwell Collins on Unsplash

Some 50 festivals have now been cancelled, postponed or even closed in 2024 across the UK.

The latest event to cancel its 2024 edition is Geronimo Festival in Northwich, which was set to take place August 23-26.

According to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), it is expected that the UK will see more than 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to continued rising costs.

The AIF added that 96 festivals have already been lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Since 2019, the total number of UK festivals to have disappeared is 182.

Commenting on the 50th festival cancellation, AIF chief executive John Rostron said: “This is a regrettable landmark for the UK’s festival sector. This is the most challenging time for independent festivals who desperately need an intervention from the incoming government before more events inevitably fall.

“Our research suggests around 100 festivals will throw in the towel before the year is out, and more will go into 2025 at risk if there is not the temporary fiscal support they need.”

Earlier this year, the AIF launched a new campaign calling for a temporary VAT reduction on festival tickets to help promoters. The ‘5% for Festivals’ campaign hopes to inform festival-goers about the problems faced by promoters in the last five years, encouraging attendees to contact their local Members of Parliament (MPs) to lobby over VAT reduction on tickets.

The AIF believes that a temporary cut to VAT on festival tickets from 20% to 5% will help festival promoters to rebuild.

At present, the campaign has been paused while the UK gears up for a general election in early July.