Rising Costs Force Popular Music Festivals to Cancel Across The UK

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Music festival costs

High Costs are crippling organisers

For many people, the arrival of summer means more than just warmer weather, but also a busy calendar of music festivals. The dance music festival experience is characterised of fields, dazzling lights, a mix of genres across multiple stages and a shared sense of community among the grasslands. However, this year, a wave of cancellations and postponements have swept the scene.

Festival life

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) reports that at least 42 festivals in the UK have announced a postponement, cancellation, or complete closure in 2024.

The financial strain on festival organisers has reached a breaking point, thanks to rising artist fees and logistical expenses, as well as increased security needs and safety regulations. The post-pandemic slope has not helped either. Supply chain disruptions and labour shortages are raising operational costs too.

Longstanding festivals like EL Dorado and 51st State have both been forced to pull the plug, citing a “dramatic rise” in costs. The Glasgow Riverside Festival, a mainstay of the Scottish electronic music scene, recently announced its cancellation, citing rising costs and a saturated event market. Even smaller festivals have succumbed to economic pressures.

I enjoy a good festival, but in recent years, I’ve noticed that a few haven’t been as well organised or managed, which has impacted my overall experience. I’ll always prefer a good old imitate rave in a club to a festival, but I have had some good times at a few UK festivals.

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