A few years back, many festivals including Latitude, Reading and Leeds, and Bestival, were all sellout festivals, actually selling out way before the tickets were even printed. It was the moment just before the credit crunch struck and its taken a while, but maybe it’s finally took a hit. It is estimated that last year overall, around 30 festivals went bankrupt. This year has seen Big Chill festival, which begun 18 years ago, being cancelled. Could this be the start of the end for our UK festivals?
It seems everyone is a lot more conservative in terms of their spending. I would agree that that’s not the only reason however. For a while, there has been an increasingly cool trend of going to a festival. You need the ‘look’, the clothes, and the haircut. The original idea of going to a festival seemed to offer an alternative reality. Now, it’s an industry. Festivals seem fashionable over recent years, high street chains have reveled in this notion of festival clothing, what to wear, what not to wear, in order to look cool and stand out of the crowd.
You find more and more people, despite there being a recession amongst our mitts, buying tickets to festivals without even seeing the lineup or having interest in the lineup. The idea of just going to a festival is seemingly worth it apparently. However when you look at it, is 200 quid for camping in a busy park really worth it? You could get it a lot cheaper and just take a speaker with you.
Festivals abroad are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. It seems that there are many accessible budget airlines offering cheap flights, as well as an experience that’s part-holiday, part-festival. Many of these festivals are now being promoted throughout the UK, costing as much, if not a little more than the UK scene, so why not?
The concept that the UK festival scene is ending I don’t believe is correct. People find the money somewhere. It’s more the question of whether who the headline acts are matter anymore…