Penn Fest, ND Festival and Meadowfest are among the latest festivals to be called off, bringing the total of UK festival cancellations this year to 34, according to the Association of Independent Festivals.

The last couple of weeks alone has seen a string of cancelations including Buckinghamshire festival Pennfest. Run by KMJ Entertainment-owned UK Live, 10,000-capacity Pennfest was due to take place in the village of Penn from 19-21 July with a line up including Jess Glynne, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Paul Weller and Richard Ashcroft.

In a statement on the festival’s website, organisers said the event had been cancelled due to trading conditions and increased costs, and that it may return in 2025.

New one-day Derby event ND Festival, planned for 7 September, was called off on the same day with its organisers issuing a statement explaining the move was due to investment and sponsorship changes making the festival no longer viable.

Launched in 2019, Meadowfest was staged in the grounds of The Talbot Hotel in Malton. It has been called off because its organisers couldn’t reach agreement with the landowner. In a statement they said, “Never say never but it would be difficult to bring the event back once it has been pulled like this.”

Among the many other festivals pulled this year are well established major events including NASS (cap. 30,000), Bluedot (21,000), Standon Calling (cap. 17,000), and Connect (15,000), while new launches have struggled to get off the ground.

In November, the team behind multi-venue Norwich festival Wild Paths partnered with independent music company ATC Group to launch a 10,000-capacity festival, Wild Fields in Norfolk’s Raynham Estate. While the August event is still set to go ahead, it has been scaled back in size and reduced from three days to two at a different location – Earlham Park.

In a social media post, festival director Ben Street said, “It’s been a wild ride this year and having to relocate and start again was less than ideal but really happy to be able to come with some positive news. To all my fellow festival directors, contractors and event teams keep it up. You’re all heroes.”

The Association of Independent Festivals has been lobbying Government for a temporary reduction of VAT on ticket sales to 5%. In February, the association launched an industry and consumerfocused campaign to gain momentum behind its calls for a VAT reduction.

Roston said, “Every single festival that falls makes things harder for the remaining festival operators and the supply chain as they try to stabilise post-pandemic.  We’ve done the research with over 100 music festivals and it tells us that a temporary intervention from the Government to lower VAT on ticket sales from 20% to 5% will fix this. But a lack of intervention means this short term problem will make for a long summer of discontent for the outdoor events sector who are asking for simple support to mitigate closures and set the framework for growth.”