Research by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has shown that festival goers value the ‘general atmosphere and overall vibe, character and quality’ of the event over headline acts.
AIF launched a new initiative, ‘Festival Fever’, with the aim of highlighting the cultural and economic impact of independent festivals, with a focus on the broad experiential multi-arts offering of its member events.
The organisation released figures showing that our member’s events have contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy over a four year period.
Extensive audience research conducted by AIF has also revealed that over 635,000 music fans attended AIF member events in 2014, which ranged from 1,500 capacity Barn on the Farm to 75,000 capacity Isle of Wight Festival, and that last year £296m was generated by independent festival goers. From 2010-2014, over £80m of this came from audience spend along the supply chain including local businesses.
In 2014, only 8.3% of respondents cited individual artists or headliners as the main reason they purchased a ticket for an independent festival, with 58% saying that the “general atmosphere and overall vibe, character and quality of the event” was the key reason for attending.
Almost half of those interviewed (49%) said they chose attending an independent festival over taking a summer holiday last year. Also in 2014, 58.2% cite “general atmosphere, overall vibe and character of event” as the single most important factor in attending. 8.3% cite “headline acts” and 21.5% “the music generally”- illustrating the broad, multi-arts experiential offering of AIF member events.
Paul Reed, general manager of AIF 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 4 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. 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. “
AIF co-founder Rob da Bank added: “Wow- who’d have thought our little organization which started off with 5 festivals meeting in a broom cupboard has grown to be a economic powerhouse generating over a billion quid in 4 years for the economy… fantastic stuff. I’m even more excited to hear the news that about 50% of our target audiences want to go to a festival more than anything, even over a summer holiday. that is the dedication of the UK festival goer…I salute you! Bring on Festival Fever…”
AIF members participating in ‘Festival Fever’ campaign will wear a digital badge across social media stating ‘Proudly independent,’ with another key component being the launch of ‘AIF TV’, a dedicated YouTube channel, which will host a competition for the best festival fan footage shot at an AIF member festival in 2014. The winner will receive an ‘Ultimate Festival Season Ticket’ giving them access to all 50 AIF member festival events throughout the year. A highlight reel of AIF festival footage can be seen here.