The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has revealed its events are on course to attract a total audience of 3.3 million in 2023.
The trade body represents the interests of 105 UK music festivals, ranging from 500 to 80,000 capacity, including the likes of GreenBelt, El Dorado, Deershed, Valley Fest, End of The Road, Pitchfork London, Field Maneuvers and We Out Here.
Based on a survey of members carried out in April 2023, AIF festivals are heading for a collective gross revenue of £195 million this year, with a gross expenditure of £177m, while members will spend £36m on music talent.
The findings have been published in the organisation’s first ever Festival Forecast report, which provides economic forecasts for its membership, as well as detailing issues facing the sector and potential solutions, and will become a regular fixture in the music industry calendar.
“We wanted to better understand the collective impact and the collective issues that our festivals share”
“As the number of festivals joining AIF grows, we wanted to better understand the collective impact and the collective issues that our festivals share,” says AIF CEO John Rostron. “The AIF Festival Forecast is an important snapshot of where we are as an association of events at this time. It will inform our work over the coming months, and support policy makers and the wider sector in better understanding the vital role AIF festivals play in the music ecosystem.”
The AIF membership will stage 11,853 performances collectively this summer, with 74% of members featuring female headliners on their bill, and 15% having a 50/50 male/female headline split.
The report also identifies a number of key issues facing member festivals in 2023, along with concrete solutions that will be spearheaded by AIF. These include continued lobbying for a VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for festivals in the face of rising supply chain costs; and public facing campaigns for government support for young audiences affected by the cost of living crisis and Covid closures.
The 2023 edition of the Festival Forecast report can be found here.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.