21 UK Festivals Canceled In 2024 Alone, Hundreds More At Risk

The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has warned British government that over 100 festivals are at risk of disappearing this year if nothing is done to reduce increasing operating costs.

New research conducted by the non-profit trade organization, which represents grassroots events across the UK, indicates that 21 festivals have already been canceled, postponed or permanently dissolved in 2024 thus far.

“The timing of this milestone suggests that the number of festival cancellations this year will far outstrip 2023, when a total 36 festivals canceled before they were due to take place,” reads an AIF statement published last week. 

“Without intervention, it’s expected that the UK could see over 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to rising costs,” the statement continues. “Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.”

Among the UK grassroots festivals that have announced their impending dissolution are cherished events like Nibley Festival, Bingley Festival, and the 26-year-old Nozstock: The Hidden Valley. In response, AIF has launched a new campaign to reduce value-added tax (VAT) on festival tickets, a change “that would save many event promoters from closure.” The UK’s VAT on festival tickets is currently 20 percent.

AIF’s 5% For Festivals campaign is now lobbying the British government for a 5 percent VAT reduction on festival tickets and has encouraged fellow UK festivalgoers to join its ranks.

“We have done the research: a reduction of VAT to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all of the festival businesses that are likely to fall by the wayside this year and many more over the years to come,” said AIF CEO John Rostron. “We need this intervention now.”

Learn more about AIF’s 5% For Festivals campaign here.

Featured image from Nozstock: The Hidden Valley.




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