The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has today, 5 June, published its first Festival Forecast report, providing economic forecasts for its membership, outlining issues facing the sector and potential solutions.

AIF member festivals are on course to make a collective gross revenue of £195 million this year, with a gross expenditure of £177m, according to a survey among its members carried out in April.

The association represents the interests of 105 UK music festivals, ranging in capacity from 500 to 80,000.

AIF said its member events will collectively attract an audience of 3.3m this year, with AIF festivals having spent £36m on music talent alone

The economic contribution of AIF festivals to the music sector and supply chain is equivalent to around 50% of all grassroots music venues combined, said the association.

The AIF membership will host 11,853 performances, collectively, with 74% of member festivals featuring female headliners on their bill, and 15% having a 50/50 male/female headline split.

The report also outlines key AIF initiatives, including the continued lobbying of Government for a VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for festivals in the face of rising supply chain costs; and public facing campaigns for Government support for young audiences affected by the cost of living crisis and Covid closures.

AIF CEO John Rostron said. “As the number of festivals joining AIF grows, we wanted to better understand the collective impact and the collective issues that our festivals share. The AIF Festival Forecast is an important snapshot of where we are as an association of events at this time. It will inform our work over the coming months, and support policy makers and the wider sector in better understanding the vital role AIF festivals play in the music ecosystem.”

AIF said its Festival Forecast report will become a regular fixture. The 2023 edition can be found here.

The association’s member festivals include GreenBelt, El Dorado, Deershed, Valley Fest, End of The Road, Pitchfork London, Field Maneuvers and We Out Here.