“The risk was getting too big”: UK festival promoters express concern that rising expenses and the cost of living crisis endangers future events, as nine festivals disappear from the summer '24 schedule

Festival culture
(Image credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

British festival promoters have expressed concerns about the feasibility of future events as they face rising costs in an ever more challenging economic climate.

A new report in The Guardian newspaper notes that nine festivals which were traditionally part of the summer season have been forced to either cancel, or sit out, summer 2024 amid concerns over the viability of the events.

“The UK’s position as a leader in live music is at stake,” says Ella Nosworthy, who runs the 5,000 capacity Nozstock festival in Herefordshire. “It sounds dramatic to say it, but that’s what goes if these smaller festivals and events aren’t protected.”

Nosworthy says that the cost of staging her festival has risen by 40% since the pandemic, with everything from rising fees for artists to skilled staff moving out of the industry making the event's viability increasingly difficult. The situation has forced her to step away from the festival calendar.

“It got to the point for us where we were looking at five years without any profit and what business can handle that?,” she tells The Guardian. “We could have carried on but we had to look at cutting our costs because the risk was getting too big.”

Other festivals which won't be held this summer include Standon Calling, Bluedot and skating/music festival NASS.

Last summer, the teams behind UK metal festivals Dominion (due to be headlined by Blind Guardian, Orange Goblin and Skindred) and ManorFest (who had booked Moonspell, Overkill and My Dying Bride) were forced to cancel their events, with ManorFest's promoters stating that they would be dissolving their company.

"The UK's future metal festival scene appears now to consist of already established festivals," they stated.

On a more positive note, events such as Outbreak and ArcTanGent are actually expanding in summer 2024.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.