The operators of Herefordshire’s 12,000-capacity El Dorado Festival have announced its cancellation, citing a dramatic rise in operational costs compounded by the impact of the increased cost of living.

The festival, led by director Kate Osler, issued a statement that said, “We have tried everything we can to keep going and weather this storm but it’s just not possible this year.”

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) said that, without government intervention, the UK will see more than 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to rising costs.

AIF said that with 96 events lost to Covid, 36 in 2023 and 40 to date in 2024, the total number of UK festivals to have disappeared since 2019 is 172: “Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.”

In February, the AIF launched a campaign calling for a temporary VAT reduction on festival tickets that it believes would save many event promoters from closure.

The 5% For Festivals campaign encourages festivalgoers to contact their MPs to lobby for the VAT reduction on tickets.

AIF CEO John Rostron said, “The speed of festival casualties in 2024 shows no sign of slowing. We are witnessing the steady erosion of one of the UK’s most successful and culturally significant industries not because of a lack of demand from the public but because of unpredictable, unsustainable supply chain costs and market fluctuations. In asking for a temporary reduction in VAT related to ticket sales, we have provided Government with a considered, targeted and sensible solution, which would save this important sector. We need action now.”