Eldorado Cancels as 2024 Cost Casualties Top 40

Herefordshire’s El Dorado Festival announced its cancellation yesterday (May 21) citing “a dramatic rise in operational costs… compounded by the impact of the increased cost of living on the festival industry and our community”.

According to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), without intervention, it’s expected that the UK will see over 100 festivals disappear in 2024 due to unpredicatable rising costs.

With 96 events lost to Covid, 36 in 2023 and 40 to date in 2024, the total number of UK festivals to have disappeared since 2019 is 172.

Without having had a single steady season since the pandemic in which to recover, the country’s festivals are under more financial strain than ever.

At the start of February, The AIF launched its campaign asking for a temporary VAT reduction on festival tickets that would save many event promoters from closure.

The 5% For Festivals campaign is an awareness campaign that seeks to inform festival-goers about the problems that music festival promoters have faced over the last five years, encouraging them to contact their MPs to lobby for a much needed VAT reduction on tickets.

AIF have once again repeated their assertion that temporary support from the UK Government – lowering VAT from 20% to 5% on ticket sales for the next three years – is all that’s needed to give festival promoters the space they need to rebuild.

The full AIF list of lost festivals in 2024 can be found here.

AIF CEO John Rostron said: “The speed of festival casualties in 2024 shows no sign of slowing. We are witnessing the steady erosion of one of the UK’s most successful and culturally significant industries not because of a lack of demand from the public but because of unpredictable, unsustainable supply chain costs and market fluctuations. In asking for a temporary reduction in VAT related to ticket sales, we have provided Government with a considered, targeted and sensible solution, which would save this important sector. We need action now.”