The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) said more than 100 of the UK’s live outdoor events could disappear in 2024 without intervention from the government.

The AIF said 21 UK festivals have now announced a postponement, cancellation or complete closure in 2024.

The timing of the milestone suggests that the number of festival cancellations this year will far exceed 2023, when a total of 36 festivals cancelled before they were due to take place, according to the AIF.

The latest include Cotswolds-based Nibley Festival, which announced that this year’s event will be its last, soon after Bradford’s Bingley Festival announced that its 2024 edition will not go ahead. Promoters of both festivals cited rising production costs as the reason for the cancellations.

At the start of February, The AIF launched a new campaign for a VAT reduction – from 20% to 5% – on festival ticket sales.

AIF CEO John Rostron said, “It’s with grave concern that we again sound the alarm to Government upon passing this critical milestone. UK festivals are disappearing at a worrying rate, and we as a nation are witnessing the erosion of one of our most successful and unique cultural industry sectors.

“We have done the research: a reduction of VAT to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all of the festival businesses that are likely to fall by the wayside this year and many more over the years to come. We need this intervention now.”