From Glastonbury to Isle of Wight to Download, the United Kingdom boasts one of the busiest, most vibrant festival markets in the world, with the past decade seeing a groundswell in the number of independent festivals trading.
Many of the smaller independent events attract audiences of no more than several thousand, but over the past five years they have collectively contributed over £1 billion ($1.5 billion) to the U.K. economy, according to new figures released by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).
The report states that in 2014, over 635,000 people attended AIF’s 50 member festivals, which range from the 50,000-capacity Bestival, staged on the Isle of Wight, to the 5,000-capacity math-rock festival ArcTanGent, held in Bristol. As a result, £296 million ($445 million) was injected into the British economy. From 2010 to 2014, over £80 million ($120 million) of this came from audience spending, while U.K. festival ticket prices have risen on average by 6.3 percent year-over-year since 2008.