British festivals to generate £450m in 2009

Two million festival goers to defy recession and spend on music

Music festivals are expected to deliver a £450m boost this year to the British economy, according to new figures released by PRS for Music.

PRS for Music’s research covered over 150 festivals, including Glastonbury and Reading. It focused on the ticket revenue generated for the event organisers and also the wider financial benefit for the economy including the money spent on accommodation, travel and food. More than half of the £450m economic benefit of this summer’s festivals will be delivered by the top ten events (see below).

Around two million people are expected to attend music festivals in the UK this summer. Most festivals are expected to be fairly recession-proof, benefitting from a number of factors:

  • The UK’s weak pound has made staying at home more attractive;
  • Equally, the weak pound will attract more foreign revellers;
  • Festivals tend to attract a younger audience including students – many of whom have yet to be affected by the recession;
  • 10% of festival goers expect to spend more this year than in 2008.

The top 10 festivals based on ticket sales:

  1. Glastonbury
  2. Carling Weekend
  3. V Festivals
  4. T In The Park
  5. Download
  6. Isle of Wight Festival
  7. Sonisphere
  8. Creamfields
  9. Rock Ness
  10. WOMAD

The popularity of festivals continues to grow, despite the recession. Most of the UK major festivals in 2009 have sold out immediately. And our research suggests most people are expecting to spend more this year than they did last. The good news is that festivals will generate over £450 million for the economy at a time when it most needs it.

Steve Porter, Chief Executive - PRS for Music
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