Independent music festivals contributed £1 billion to UK economy over past five years

Independently-run festivals generated £296 million in 2014 alone

A new report has shown that independent music festival have generated over £1 billion for the UK economy over the last five years.

As reported by Billboard, the study was helmed by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), who found that in 2014 alone independent festivals contributed £296 million. It was also found that more than 635,000 fans attended independent music last year with the average festival-goer spending £466.01 at each event.

“Our extensive research clearly shows that the independent music festival sector is thriving and enjoying an extended period of fantastic growth,” AIF general manager Paul Reed said in a statement.

Bestival organiser and AIF founder Rob da Banks added: “Who’d have thought our little organisation, which started off with five festivals meeting in a broom cupboard, would grow to be an economic powerhouse generating over a billion quid in four years for the economy? Fantastic stuff.”

UK festival ticket prices have also risen on average by 6.3% year-on-year since 2008, according to the report.

The study took into consideration the AIF’s 50 member festivals. The association classes an independent festival as one owned by a company with a turnover of less than £755 million.

It was recently announced that the police are launching a national database of security issues at live events in order to tackle crime at festivals and concerts.

Hertfordshire Deputy chief constable Andy Adams announced the plan at an Intelligence Engagement conference at The O2 in London last month (March 19). The database will list repeat offenders and monitor growing trends in crime at live events, such as counterfeit ticketing, ticket toutings, pickpocketing, drug abuse and violent assaults.