Facing The Music -  The Hidden Costs of Festivals. David Jinks. parcelhero.

Facing The Music - The Hidden Costs of Festivals

15 Jun 2016

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Can you make money from festivals, or do overwhelming logistical demands – plus the British weather – mean most festivals will cease festivities?

1. Coachella, the biggest festival in the world, sells 198,000 tickets and pulls in $84 million for the Californian event. The UK’s largest festival – Glastonbury – has a turnover of £37m but sees profits of just £86,000: less than 50p per ticket. 2. In the wet summer of 2012 57 UK music festivals were cancelled. It’s a tough business: famous events such as The Big Chill, Sonisphere, Oxegen and Cloud 9 have all fallen silent recently. This year Austin’s 3-day Levitation Festival, Manchester’s All Today’s Parties festival and the Forgotten Fields 2016 Festival have already joined their ranks. 3. This year 14 million UK residents plan to attend a festival, (3.5 million music festivals alone). Around 1,000 festivals are planned in the UK for 2016 and, with the average ticket price being over £200 for major events, it’s a £2.3bn industry!

2. In the wet summer of 2012 57 UK music festivals were cancelled. It’s a tough business: famous events such as The Big Chill, Sonisphere, Oxegen and Cloud 9 have all fallen silent recently. This year Austin’s 3-day Levitation Festival, Manchester’s All Today’s Parties festival and the Forgotten Fields 2016 Festival have already joined their ranks.

3. This year 14 million UK residents plan to attend a festival, (3.5 million music festivals alone). Around 1,000 festivals are planned in the UK for 2016 and, with the average ticket price being over £200 for major events, it’s a £2.3bn industry!

4. The logistics behind a big event are amazing. The five stages at Download weigh 278 tons and require 57 artics to transport them. There are also 160 tons of lights, sound and video equipment to move.

5. You might think festivals are green, but they generate 23,500 tonnes of waste and less than 32% of material is recycled. Music festivals are responsible for 20 kilotonnes of C02e onsite and 100 kilotonnes of CO2e including audience travel. No wonder Festival 6 spends £30,000 simply taking waste away. 6. Artists aren’t cheap. Organisers pay over $1m for Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber and Madonna; however, Bob Dylan can be hired for $150,000, Ed Sheeran $125,00, the Kaiser Chiefs are a snip at $25,000, and MC Lars is just $2,500.

6. Artists aren’t cheap. Organisers pay over $1m for Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber and Madonna; however, Bob Dylan can be hired for $150,000, Ed Sheeran $125,00, the Kaiser Chiefs are a snip at $25,000, and MC Lars is just $2,500.

7. Stars also have some unusual riders: Adelle asks for six large tea mugs and a packet of Marlboro Lights; Kanye West requires a barber’s chair; Madonna insists on a new toilet seat, and Paul McCartney won’t have any animal products– even his black limo can’t have leather seats. But Van Halen’s notorious rider that they should never be given brown M&Ms was a test to see if organisers were reading contracts!

8. Book Festivals are nearly as heavy as heavy metal. 60,000 books were sold at the Edinburgh literary festival last year: 60,000 hardbacks weigh at least 60 tonnes – the equivalent to 38 delivery van loads! 230,000 people went to Hay on Wye’s Festival in 2013.

9. The 2012 Cheltenham Literature Festival sold 135,000 tickets for £4,887,251 – but spent £4,937,645: a loss of over £50,000!

10.Rain can make all the difference. Cornbury sold 1,200 tickets on the day in 2013, but in wet 2012 just 200 were sold – £80,000 less.

11.Festivals make money through catering stalls. Download welcomes 120,000 festival goers who drink 1.2 million pints and eat 650,000 burgers.

12.Festival and tour sponsorship

 

Sectors: Live