The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched a campaign and fund aimed at providing more people aged 18+ in the UK access to music festivals.

AIF said the First Festival Campaign has been launched to provide tickets for those who were denied opportunities to attend festivals during the pandemic. The association also cited the cost of living crisis and festivals rolling over tickets from 2019 in 2022.

The campaign is targeted at anyone in the UK who was/is 18 years of age between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2023.

Individuals and organisations are able to make donations to the campaign. Tickets will be released as funding targets are met, with eligible 18-year-olds on the waiting list able to buy a ticket for their chosen festival for just £18.

AIF said it has taken inspiration from European countries such as Germany, France and Italy where those turning 18 are given a voucher by their government with a value of between €200 and €500 to be spent on cultural events and activities.

Festivals that have already signed up to the new AIF initiative include: 110 Above Presents: OTHR Festival; Above & Beyond Brighton Beach; Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival; BlueDot Festival; British Country Music Festival; Camp Wildfire Festival; Chase & Status Brighton Beach; Deva Fest; El Dorado; End of The Road Festival; Green Belt; Green Gathering; Kendal Calling; NASS Festival; Noisily; Nozstock: The Hidden Valley; PennFest; Readipop Festival; Rock Oyster; Shambala; Takedown Festival; UK Tech-Fest; Underneath The Stars Festival; Valley Fest; and We Out Here.

AIF CEO John Rostron said, “I was speaking to some students recently who are set to graduate this year, and it became apparent that none of them had ever attended a festival. It really hit me just what an impact Covid had on their lives. So we decided to do something about it. Everyone should have a first festival experience, and it should be a thrilling and vital part of every person’s journey into adulthood.

“So many of us have wonderful festival memories to share, and brilliant festival stories to tell. We’re hoping that there’ll be individuals and organisations who are able to spare some money to put into the fund to help people attend their first festivals this year.”

The First Festival campaign is being powered by Tickets For Good. People can register interest in attending one of AIF’s member festivals via the First Festival website.