A university study has revealed the annual Isle of Wight festival potentially contributes up to £15 million ($24.4 million) to the island’s economy, according to the Isle of Wight Council.
The figure includes spend away from the site by visitors, an estimate of money spent by festival organizers with local traders and the estimated earnings of local businesses trading at the festival.
The survey, conducted by Sheffield Hallam University, took place at the 2008 Isle of Wight festival and around 1,000 interviews were carried out during the event. However, spend by locals was excluded as it was assumed their money would be spent irrespective of the festival.
The results showed that 22.6% of festival-goers were island residents, 75.7% were U.K. residents and 1.7% international visitors.
While no comparative evidence exists from previous years, a spokesperson from the council told Billboard.biz it is “reasonable to assume the figure is valid given that the numbers attending the festival this year and last are comparable.”
Both this year and last year sold out, attracting a capacity crowd of 55,000 to the Seaclose event site. The Isle of Wight Council and festival organizers Solo revived the festival concept in 2002.
Acts including Neil Young, the Prodigy and Stereophonics headlined this year’s festival, held June 12 to 14.
Although the spokesperson said a festival of this magnitude would “inevitably cause some disruption to some people living nearby,” the council is currently looking to sign an agreement to use Seaclose for another 10 years.
“The council is very supportive of the Isle of Wight festival and recognizes not just the economic benefits but the cultural advantages it brings,” the spokesperson added. “The Isle of Wight festival has really helped bring about a cultural renaissance on the island and that has in turn brought about a great economic dividend.”