Brits are ditching their annual holiday – and going to music festivals instead

One in five music fans would happily ditch their annual holiday – and go to a festival instead, a study has found.

The rising cost of holidays (29%), hotter UK summers (14%) and uncertainties around Brexit (12%) mean many would prefer to enjoy a long weekend of live music instead of heading abroad.

And of those with tickets to a music festival this summer, three in 10 say it is their main trip this year.

It also emerged almost one in five (19%) feel their summer would be ‘incomplete’ without the atmosphere of a festival field to soak-up.

While 22 per cent opt for a festival over a holiday because it has everything they could want in one place.

The research was commissioned by Barclaycard to celebrate its partnership with Live Nation and AEG, which sees the sponsorship of eight festivals this summer.

Daniel Mathieson, head of sponsorship at Barclaycard, said: “It is fascinating to see how live entertainment events have evolved over the past few years.

“Festivals are no longer just about the music, but about finding opportunities to discover new ways to have fun and make memories, whether that’s taking a yoga class, trying out a new cuisine or seeing a comedian.

“Festivals continue to support a wide-range of interests and for many, have become a cultural rite of passage.

“With many events now billed as entertainment hubs offering so much to do and see, it’s not surprising Brits are considering putting off a trip abroad in favour of some festival fun.”

The study of 2,000 festival goers, also revealed that a fifth feel festivals are a rite of passage, with 44 per cent believing everyone should attend one at least once in their life.

In fact, 34 per cent think going to a festival is a great way for young people to enhance their social skills, while 31 per cent believe it builds confidence.

Almost one in four also feel festivals are the perfect environment to broaden the mind (24 per cent) and almost a fifth (18 per cent) find the immersive nature events offer more opportunities for discovery than other cultural activities.

Trying new foods (27 per cent), activities such as yoga or comedy (27 per cent) and meeting new people (25 per cent) are also among the reasons many will be flocking to fields this summer.

One in four (25 per cent) also favour festivals for making memories with their friends.

And one in 10 admitted to experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) if their friends attend an event without them.

It also emerged the average festival will cost fans around £550 each, with travel costing £65, clothes £42 and tents £43.

But 22 per cent often worry they will run out of money, with 16 per cent admitting they are not sure how to budget effectively for their music extravaganza.

As a result, 22 per cent of those polled would welcome advice from those who have attended music festivals before.

Helpful stewards (34 per cent), phone charging points (33 per cent) and complimentary waterproofs (23 per cent) were also identified as ways to enhance the festival environment.

Further preparation includes making a schedule of acts to see (33 per cent), studying site maps (27 per cent) and creating bespoke playlists (11 per cent).

Many will splurge on new outfits (38 per cent) while one in ten (10 per cent) will try out a new hairstyle or even take singing or dancing lessons to prepare for the event.

Edith Bowman, broadcaster, added: “I’ve spent half my life going to festivals and I am thrilled to see that their wider value in society is starting to be truly recognised.

“From self-confidence and open-mindedness, to new tastes and unforgettable live music – there is so much on offer.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer than with those who have an appreciation and love for the same thing that I do.”

To help people discover even more while on site, the Barclaycard ‘Sensorium’ is an immersive structure that will take festival goers at Download, Latitude and Barclaycard presents British Summer Time on a multisensory journey designed to open the mind and prime music fans for discovery.

The Barclaycard Entertainment partnership with Live Nation and AEG sees sponsorship of eight music festivals across the UK and includes benefits such as festival pre-sales and 5% back at the checkout when you buy through Barclaycard Entertainment.

Top 10 reasons for attending a festival this summer:

1. To see bands and artists that they love (46%)

2. To discover new music (34%)

3. To try new foods (27%)

4. To enjoy experiences unrelated to music such as yoga or comedy (27%)

5. To meet new people (25%)

6. To become more open minded (24%)

7. To find new brands / products (14%)

8. To visit interesting pop-up bars (11%)

9. To experiment with fashion (10%)

10. To build social skills (9%)

  • Mat is a writer with an interest in public opinion research. He has a passion for stories covering lifestyle, travel and technology.

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