Festivals are No1 Entertainment for Brit’s
- 2nd Annual AIF Survey Reveals That UK Festival Market Remains Strong
- AIF Festival Goers To Contribute More Than £130M To UK Economy This Year
The continued and vital contribution of UK festivals to the British economy has been demonstrated once again by this year’s survey of more than 4,700 festival goers undertaken by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF). Despite the worst recession in decades the UK Festival market has shown itself to be remarkably buoyant as Britons love affair with partying al fresco shows little sign of abating. Whilst 44.4% of those surveyed said that the recession has affected how much they spend on festivals this compares favourably to the 59.4% who say the recession has affected how much they spend on all other types of entertainment. With 24 members ranging from boutique festivals such as Standon Calling through to world famous events such as Creamfields and Bestival, around 350,000 people will attend AIF member festivals this year (up from 340,000 in 2009). In all they will inject more than £130M into the UK economy with over £12M directly funnelled to local businesses. This year over 69% of those attending festivals will spend 3 or more days in the local area of the festival, up from 60% last year.
Those attending WOMAD will stay the longest with 48.8% prepared to spend 4 or more days in the local area. The total spend of a festival goer this year totals £346 including ticket, with those attending Camp Bestival the biggest spenders with an average of £532 average per person. Once again the survey has demonstrated that festivals are much more than just a big outside gig, with over 50% of respondents stating that it is the “General atmosphere and overall vibe, quality and character of the event” which is the main draw. “Music generally” was the second deciding factor in picking a festival with 28.3%, whilst the choice of headliners only polled 11.9%. Once at the festival 43% of respondents will spend 60 – 79% of time watching music.
Reflecting the wide range of entertainment on offer, those attending Secret Garden Party and Camp Bestival spend the least time watching bands with 73.8% and 67.2% of audience spending less than half their time doing so. The survey also looked at the mode of transportation festival goers use to get to the festival of their choice and once again, ‘By Car’ remains the most popular choice, with 44.5% travelling by car with 3 or more people. Importantly for those looking to reduce the festival market’s carbon footprint 50.1% said that “a discount on public transport ticket” would encourage them to travel this way. Claire O’Neill, AIF General Manager – “It is good to see that for another year despite an overall economic downturn independent festival continue to make a great contribution both nationally and locally. Of course, this survey further cements the knowledge that festivals offer a many entertainments and attractions aside from music, and that is the experience as a whole that so many people love.It is a shame that most people are still driving to festivals, however it was interesting to read many suggestions that a “fast track” queue for coach ticket holders would be an incentive to leave the car at home.” Lucy wood, Field day, “Being a one day event in the city, most people coming to Field Day don’t need to spend much money on accommodation or travel, so it’s still proving a popular option as ever during these financially straightened times.”
AIF FESTIVAL AUDIENCE SURVEY: 2010
This years survey was completed by 4783 festival goers across over 13 festivals. (last year 3300 responses). There is a capacity of 350,000 across the AIF festivals. Travel, 30.1% of respondents traveled from South East England. This year the travel questions were slightly extended and included the option of walking to the festival. 44.5% travel by car with 3 or more people. 21.1% travel by car with 2 or less people and 3% fly. 5.3% of the audience walk and just 4.1% travel by coach. When asked whether cost is an important factor in choice of transport 9.7% said highly whilst 34% do not rank this highly at all in their decision. Despite this interestingly 50.1% said that “a discount on public transport ticket” would encourage them to travel this way. The second most popular incentive for traveling by public transport was “Vouchers for goods to be redeemed at the festival (e.g. meals / t-shirts)” with 26.7%. Only 6.1% selected charge for car parking as an incentive to leave the car at home. It was suggested by respondents that a “queue jump” for people arriving by coach would be a good incentive. 50.2% of audience check the festival website for travel options.
Why go to festivals?
Once again “General atmosphere and overall vibe, quality and character of the event” was the main reason for people choosing which festival to attend with 50.2%. Second came “music generally” with 28.3%, and third was headliners with 11.9%. When asked “what do you enjoy most from your festival experience” again “General atmosphere and overall vibe, quality and character of the event” came top with 45% ranking this as number 1. This year over 69% spend 3 ore more days in the local area of the festival. Last year this was 60%. Glade festival and WOMAD have people staying the longest with 48.9% and 48.8% staying 4 or more days respectively. 43% of respondents spend 60 – 79% of time watching music while at festivals. Secret Garden Party and Camp Bestival go against this trend with 73.8% and 67.2% of audience spending 50% or less time watching music at the event.
70.2% of audience camp on-site in tents. This was highest for Glade festival with almost 100% of the audience stay on site either in tent or camper van. Overall 14.5% stay at home and 6.5% stay in campervans on-site. Big Session and Field Day had the highest number of hotel visitors with 11.6% and 11% respectively. These are both city based festivals. Endorse it in Dorset had by far the highest number of campervan campers with 24.2%, compared with a 6.5% average.
44.4% said that the recession effected how much they spend on festivals, whilst 59.4% say that the recession has effected how much they spend on other types of entertainment. So it would appear that festivals are more recession proof than other entertainment options in what audiences sacrifice first. The cancelled Glade Festival seem to have the most committed crowd with 63.1% saying the recession has not effected their spending on festivals, followed by Glasgowbury, Ireland with 62%. The average total spend of a festival goer is £346 including ticket. Camp Bestival has the biggest spenders with £532 average per person. This may be due to the family aspect of the event. WOMAD audience are the biggest market stall spenders with an average £56 compared to a £32 average. Festival goers spent an average of £35 in the local area.
64.5% find out about the festival via the official website. 52.6% by word of mouth and 48.5% via festival community websites. Secret Garden Party have highest word of mouth with 70.9%, closely followed by Glade and Endorse it in Dorset with 69.9% and 69.7% respectively. WOMAD and Bestival have the most popular websites with 73% and 71.2% sourcing their info here.
15% of audience members have been a victim of crime at festivals. 9% of these were tent thefts (having items robbed from inside tents). 4% other robbery. 34% crimes took place on day 2 and 38% on day 3. This may reflect when they were discovered as opposed to when they happened.
56% of respondents were female. 32% were aged 25 – 34. 24% were 17 – 24 and 24% were 35 – 44.
The Association of Independent Festivals is a not for profit body set up in 2008 to represent independent music festivals in the UK and Ireland. Conceived by Bestival promoter Rob da Bank and Graphite’s Ben Turner, the association’s founder members included Bestival, Cornbury Festival, Creamfields, Evolution Festival, Field Day/Underage, Glade, Loud Sound, Secret Garden Party, Shambala Festival, Summer Sundae Weekender and WOMAD. With a current membership that ranges from Northern Ireland’s 1,000 capacity Glasgowbury to the 40,000 capacity Creamfields in Liverpool, AIF enables the promoters of some of the UK & Ireland’s most innovative and successful festivals to speak with one voice when addressing the wider music business and government. AIF aims to establish best practice for festivals in a variety of areas such as security, the environment and beyond, providing a knowledge base for festival promoters, as well as creating collective purchasing and marketing opportunities for its members. AIF operates as an autonomous division of the Association of Independent Music. www.aiforg.com