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The UK Festival Sector Overview for 2022.

Andy Robertson

The UK has one of the most vibrant festival sectors in the world and continues to expand. There has been a steady flow of new festivals announced on a regular basis since the end of the coronavirus pandemic. What does analysis of the UK festival scene reveal for 2022 and how can this data be interpreted.

Using published data from the research analytics company Viberate it's possible to take a snapshot view of the UK festival sector and how this breaks down using different variables. With 611 festivals scheduled to take place in 2022 festival-goers are spoilt for choice when making ticket buying decisions.

Size and Genre. 
The size of festivals is usually measured by the number of visitors expected (tickets sold) which reveals the following categories: 

  • 8 Mega festivals with 80k+
  • 29 Huge festivals with 30k - 80k
  • 70 Big festivals with 25k - 30k
  • 210 Medium festivals with 5k - 15k
  • 289 Small festivals with under 5k 

Analysing the genres of festivals can be difficult as many events have multi-genre formats so the easiest methodology is to look at the percentage of genres of artists booked across all festivals. The most popular booked genre is surprisingly Rock/Metal/Punk Rock at 50% of artists closely followed by EDM at 41% and Pop at 36%. Other notable genres include Hip-Hop at 15% and Blues/Jazz at 4%.

Festival Season and Location.
It is surprising that so many festivals still take place in city locations with data showing 226 city-based festivals (37%). This compares to the traditional remote location (fields etc.) festivals which account for 188 (31%). The festival season continues to focus on the summer months of June, July and August with 374 (61%) taking place in these 3 months alone. The season is expanding beyond these summer months and when including May and September the number rises to 501 (82%).

Festival Features and Attractions.
Every festival attempts to attract more ticket sales by adding additional features that will bring in more visitors. Aside from the arts & crafts and wellness offerings other popular attractions includes glamping which features at 89 festivals (15%), family friendly at 306 festivals (50%) and pet friendly festivals at 53 (9%).

Although this data is a snapshot in time and is likely to change it does give a good overview of the UK festival sector in 2022. Of note is how the festival season is showing signs of expanding beyond the traditional months and how the genre mix continues to evolve. There have been over 40 new festivals announced for 2022 which indicates a continuing expansion of the industry. Whether economic conditions and inflation will impact this over time remains to be seen and only 21 (3%) of these 611 festivals have been postponed or cancelled so far this year. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Data courtesy of Viberate Ltd 
Photo by
Thibault Trillet via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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