Revenue / 10.04.23
Mixed News from U.K./Europe: Live Is Back, but at What Cost?
Pollstar (09/27/23) Gottfried, Gideon
Record ticket sales for concert festivals in the U.K. and Europe belie across-the-board price hikes that are especially stressing for small to medium-sized events or acts. Although sold out or nearly sold out events is a positive sign, Boomtown Fair creative director Luke Mitchell says higher costs across the supply chain are thwarting profitability even for established events, most of which went on sale last year, before price hikes. "There is a large number of festivals that planned to happen this year that then cancelled in advance," reports John Rostron with the U.K.'s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF). "More than 30 festivals so far [including one AIF member] that we're aware of across the U.K. didn't make it to opening their gates." Rostron cites supply chain costs and the cost of living crisis as the main contributors. "If I was issuing a statement about the live sector, I would be very careful to focus on the big successes, which has been stadium tours and big, major headline concerts," he says. "But from a festival sector's standpoint, that's not been the case." Changes in customer behavior are another factor, with adoption of payment plans and fewer young people picking up festival tickets raising questions about maintaining cultural access. Rostron suggests reducing the value-added tax on concert tickets from 20% to 5% "would give us the space to cope with fluctuating supply chain costs, but not pass on too much the customer, whilst the sector recovers, and finds its feet again."
Read the full story from Pollstar.
Tags: Revenue , UK Festivals