Are UK festivals in decline this year? eFestivals statistics tend to disagree

Our friends at eFestivals have been looking at whether or not the UK festival market is in decline, with some surprising results. After the wettest summer on records, the recession and with the unanticipated fall-out from the Olympics for the festival market, as well as some high profile cancellations including Sonisphere UK, WowFest, The Last Jubilee, The Big Chill and the Bloc Weekender, eFestivals decided to have a look at the figures, and see whether 2012 was as bad as many pundits are declaring. EFestivals say that whilst it is true that more festivals have been cancelled in 2012 than ever before, with 19 more festivals cancelled this year than the average (38 festivals a year) over the last five years, as a percentage of the overall number of festivals that were planned in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) the figures look slightly different over the last six years:

number cancelled in 2012: 57 of 929 = 6.13%
number cancelled in 2011: 40 of 934 = 4.28%
number cancelled in 2010: 36 of 801 = 4.49%
number cancelled in 2009: 41 of 710 = 5.77%
number cancelled in 2008: 43 of 633 = 6.79%
number cancelled in 2007: 31 of 496 = 6.25%

EFestivals qualify the figures by acknowledging that it had a smaller number of festivals on it’s database from 2007 to 2009, saying that it is not sure there has been a boom in new events, but that since 2009 eFestivals has been able to provides a much more accurate picture of UK festivals saying “there are close to a 1,000 music related festivals of all sizes a year now” adding “whilst our figures don’t reflect it, that has probably been the case ever since 2008”.

The article also points out that about a dozen festivals have cited the appalling British weather as a reason for their cancellation with 8 of the events cancelled due to sites flooding. Taking these 12 festivals out of the equation, the statistics deliver a cancellation figure for 2012 of 4.84% with e-Festivals saying “The percentages point to an interesting conclusion, festivals are not in decline, but instead for the last three years around 4.5% of UK festivals have had to cancel each year, pointing out that since 2008 the festival market has reached saturation point, with eFestivals saying that their figures point to another 45 events cancelling next year
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Read more at http://www.efestivals.co.uk/news/12/120907c.shtml#oYp4jGdxC8ps4T0H.99

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