The UK’s summer music festivals have become a £100m headline act for drink suppliers, according to CGA research.

According to new research on festivals from the out-of-home food and drink research company, the UK’s summer music events make up a valuable part of the new ‘third space’ for drinks companies, with over £100m spent on alcohol at festivals each year.

The exclusive CGA research reveals that some 7.4 million people have visited one of the top UK festivals over the past three years, with 33% – 15 million – considering a future visit.

Total consumer spending at festivals is fast approaching £200m per year, with each festival-goer spending £32.27 a day on alcohol at the event and £23.71 on food.

“People attend relatively few festivals each year and so when they go they are looking to enjoy themselves, regardless of cost,” said Jonny Jones, CGA’s director of client services.

“They are also a particularly experimental audience, with 51% having tried new drinks when they attend festivals and 37% saying they are very likely to purchase those new drinks in shops or normal pubs and bars afterwards.”

Recognising growth in the experience economy has prompted some nine out of 10 suppliers to invest in at least one experience-led event this year, including food and drink festivals or music festivals as growth in consumer spending in the entertainment sector continues.

Festival-goers represent a key target audience for drinks companies as the research reveals a typical attendee has a higher than average annual income, higher than average spend on eating and drinking, and is more likely than the average consumer to go out drinking on a weekly basis.

“A penchant for quality in both drink and the way drinks are served sees 65% of festival-goers surveyed likely to upgrade their drink purchases to more premium products, although many attendees say the provision of food and drink at festivals could be improved,” added Jones.

“Failure to take advantage of festivals by not understanding consumer demand in the third space setting could lead drinks suppliers to miss out on key opportunities for growth. The quality of the experience and ambience offered to festival-goers provides the perfect environment for suppliers to grow advocacy and improve equity in their brands.”

The report, Your Future in Festivals, highlights the value of marketing at festivals with a view to shaping a successful festival strategy, driving consumer engagement and building brand equity. To purchase a copy of the report visit here or email