The effects of cost-of-living for festival goers

2024 Festival Landscape Unveiled

Two thirds of UK adults feel that music festivals are becoming too expensive

Just over four fifths of UK adults (81%) will not attend a weekend music festival in the next year. This leaves just one in five adults (19%) who plan on attending a festival this year. Of these, only 4% already have tickets whilst 15% plan on attending but have not purchased any tickets yet.

However, two thirds in the UK (65%) agree that music festivals are becoming too expensive. Additionally, almost three fifths (57%) agree that there should be a cap on how much music festivals can charge per person, with the same proportion that feel music festivals are no longer accessible (57%).

The maximum amount people would be willing to spend on a weekend music festival (which includes standard camping) is £192 on average, whilst one in ten (11%) would pay no more than £100.

While several festivals including Glastonbury, increased their ticket prices in 2024, Manchester’s Parklife festival reduced their ticket costs by £4.50. With half (47%) of UK adults saying festivals are no longer worth the money, other festivals may want to follow suit.

Almost one in four adults are cutting back on holiday savings to afford a weekend music festival

Despite festival ticket prices going up, festival goers are still willing to make sacrifices to afford festivals this year.  Almost one in three (29%) have cut back on non-essentials such as eating out or going to the cinema. Around one in four have cut back on building their savings (26%), alongside forfeiting their holiday savings (23%) so they can put more towards festival tickets this year.

One in two intending to go to a music festival next year have already started saving (50%) as they prepare for the struggles of ticket costs rising. One in seven (15%) UK adults have gone the extra mile and will prioritise festivals over other events next year.

Rising ticket costs spark shift in spending habits at UK festivals

One in three UK adults will spend less on hotels to prioritise the cost of festival tickets

Festival goers are also cutting back on festival essentials and changing their typical festival behaviour to help them afford the tickets. Festival goers are most likely to cut back on booking a hotel (32%) and paying for travel (25%).

Almost one in three will cut back on food either prior to the event or on-site (29%) which could mean festivals goers are heading back to the good old days of bringing pot noodles to reduce their spending. However, almost one in five adults (17%) will not change their spending habits on any festival expenditures at all.

Written by Lyle Barrett, Research Executive at Opinium.