UK festival season under threat from “perfect storm” this summer
A culmination of factors including Brexit could result in a rocky season this year
The 2022 festival circuit is under concern as experts predict a “perfect storm” of supply and workforce shortages is on its way, threatening the summer season.
Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has warned of the damages caused by factors such as Brexit could impact this year’s large scale events as a lack of workforce, on top of supply chain issues, could be detrimental to such events.
As festivals begin to return with “unprecedented demand” after the pandemic, AIF’s CEO Paul Reed commented on the current state of events ahead of AIF’s annual Festival Congress taking place this year in Bristol.
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Reed now predicts that the 2022 UK festival circuit won’t quite be “business as usual,” as the nation faces “a perfect storm in many ways.”
“I’ve spoken with many [festival organisers] in the last few weeks about supply chains, loss of skilled workforce, 20-30% increase in costs across the board and a government-backed insurance scheme that isn’t simply isn’t fit for purpose despite our best efforts,” he said.
Reed also alluded to a lack of expendable cash for festival organisers after years without the possibility to run events, leaving many on a financial cliff edge ahead of summer.
The industry now faces an increase of 20% to 30% in both operations and infrastructure due to a heightened cost of labour, staff, materials, and transport.
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“The UK festival industry is a powerhouse, contributing £1.76billion in GVA to the UK economy and supporting 85,000 jobs,” argues Reed.
“The cultural and wellbeing benefits of festivals cannot be measured. We know they are profound, and the absence of festivals has been felt keenly by artists, the wider supply chain and of course audiences.
AIF’s concerns also settle around the UK’s insurance schemes set up for the industry which “simply isn’t fit for purpose”, and are now calling on the government for more financial support.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter