Audience - Rock In The City Vantaa - 2022

Nine festivals in UK cancel 2024 amid rising costs

Author Arto Mäenpää - 24.2.2024

The vibrancy of Britain’s festival landscape is at risk as several prominent events confront the possibility of skipping the summer of 2024. Festival organizers are raising alarms about the feasibility of future gatherings in the face of mounting costs and a challenging economic environment.

A recent report by The Guardian highlights the predicament, revealing that nine festivals, typically staples of the summer calendar, have been compelled to cancel or take a hiatus due to concerns over their financial viability.

Ella Nosworthy, organizer of the esteemed Nozstock festival in Herefordshire, shares her apprehensions, stressing the potential consequences for the UK’s live music scene if smaller festivals are not adequately supported. “The UK’s position as a leader in live music is at stake,” she warns.

Nosworthy cites a significant 40% increase in the cost of staging her festival since the pandemic, driven by rising artist fees and a depletion of skilled staff within the industry. These challenges have forced her to withdraw from the festival circuit, a decision she describes as necessary to mitigate escalating risks.

Among the casualties of the summer hiatus are well-known festivals like Standon Calling, Bluedot, and the combined skating and music event, NASS.

Last summer also saw the cancellation of UK metal festivals Dominion and ManorFest, with the latter’s organizers announcing the dissolution of their company, casting doubts on the future of the metal festival scene in the UK.

Despite these setbacks, some events such as Outbreak and ArcTanGent are defying the trend by planning expansions for the summer of 2024.