Society & Culture & Entertainment Music

The British Festival Craze

Numerous festivals from the muddy haven of Glastonbury, to the sandy sunny E4 on the beach, have seen a rise in popularity over the past decade through offering unique and once in a lifetime style experiences in fun and familiar locations.

Research group Mintel have shown that the number of festivals have erupted with 2010 alone hosting 715 music focused festivals just in the UK. Similarly, according to the BBC, in 2009 UK fans spend approximately 1.45 billion pounds on live gigs which has risen by 4% from its previous year. Of that, 275 million pounds was spent on festivals alone, showing its substantial portion of the market. This spend is directly from festival expenditure and does not even account for the large spending on attempts to impress with accessories, attire and joke related products.

Along with tickets purchases, the Independent highlights some of the other usual objects seen at every festival and although they may not always be things to be much proud of; they do include the strong desire for funky headgear and wild wellington boots, as being the basis for many shopping habits. This along with bright lights, whistles and often minimal clothing, explains why so many people love going to those events.

On the other hand, entertainment blog 'gigwise', have suggested that the general public are rapidly losing interest in the British festival craze. Originally festivals produced a unique experience, but as higher numbers of people have already had this experience, this once in a lifetime experience becomes one more of repetition, therefore not as attractive previously thought. Gigwise blame this on the lack of new content. They highlight that the location is not the issue, but more the content involved in making the festival, including the acts, entertainment and facilities. If festival organisers wish to attract new festival goers or even just retain current attendees, then they need new acts and new entertainment.

However this has become increasingly difficult with a lack of new UK stars. Apart from reality show Z-list celebrities; the UK music industry has slowed down producing lower numbers of 'fashionable' musicians and singers, meaning that many of the UK festivals have to hire either bands from previous years or those who have performed at other national festivals, therefore creating a lack of variety and a monotonous feel.

Conversely, many festival enthusiasts would claim that their passion and interest in festivals will never die. Even with the industry slowing, plenty of people still drive enough demand to keep these events acquiring substantial profits from the general public. Additionally, festival blogger 'efestivals' found that although the media representation of negative festival press has increased, the number of festival cancels have in fact declined in a growing market. Furthermore, they have noted that the reason for the sustained high number of festival cancellations is mainly due to bad weather, therefore for those future events remember to bring along suitable attire.

Overall the future for festivals is unpredicted. Some claim a decline whilst others suggest real growth. Although the craze of the festivals is not emphasised as much in dominating media, these events must still have a fair number of attendees to still be running successfully, therefore it seemingly shows the end of the festival is not yet nigh.

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