21 UK festivals called off, postponed or cancelled altogether – with over 100 in danger of disappearing without immediate action

“Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.”

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Crowd watching a band perform at summer music festival, UK

Image: RWP UK / Getty Images

As the 2024 festival season approaches, the UK is witnessing a concerning trend: 21 festivals have either been cancelled, postponed, or scrapped – with many more in danger of disappearing without immediate action.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which conducted the research, said that “The timing of this milestone suggests that the number of festival cancellations this year will far outstrip 2023, when a total of 36 festivals were cancelled before they were due to take place.”

The report continued: “Without intervention, it’s expected that the UK could see over 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to rising costs. Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.”

Affected festivals include Nozstock: The Hidden Valley, which will be cancelled after 26 years this July, as well as Standon Calling, Neighbourhood Weekender, NASS, Doune The Rabbit Hole and Tokyo World.

Last month, AIF launched the 5% For Festivals campaign which sought for a VAT reduction on festival tickets that would save many event promoters from closure. Temporary support from the UK Government – lowering VAT from 20% to 5% on ticket sales for the next three years – is all that’s needed to give festival promoters the space they need to rebuild, said the AIF.

AIF CEO John Rostron states: “It’s with grave concern that we again sound the alarm to [the] Government upon passing this critical milestone. UK festivals are disappearing at a worrying rate, and we as a nation are witnessing the erosion of one of our most successful and unique cultural industry sectors.

“We have done the research: a reduction of VAT to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all of the festival businesses that are likely to fall by the wayside this year and many more over the years to come. We need this intervention now.”

Earlier this year, Music Venues Trust reported that 2023 was the worst year for music venue closures in the UK, with a whopping 125 venues closed, 4,000 jobs lost, 14,500 events cancelled and 193,230 gigs scrapped as a result.


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