(ETX Daily Up) – After nearly two summers of silence, music festivals wanted to turn up the volume with exceptional posters. But that was without taking into account the increase in all costs and the reduction in public subsidies. Result: they rely more and more on their box office (trying) to cover their costs.
Glastonbury in the lead. The famous and gigantic festival has significantly increased ticket prices for its 2023 edition. Music lovers had to pay 340 pounds sterling (about 390 euros) to get their hands on the precious sesame, including booking fees. This is an increase of 20% compared to 2019, when the English festival was last held. This price increase raised many questions when Glastonbury Festival organizers announced it in October. “We have done everything we can to minimize the increase in ticket prices, but we are facing a significant increase in the costs associated with organizing this major event, while recovering from the huge financial impact of two year without a festival due to Covid.”, explained Emily Eavis, co-organizer of the English festival, in a press release. She tried to reassure music lovers worried about their finances by stressing that “as always, thousands of people will have the opportunity to come [gratuitement] as volunteers or team members.
Glastonbury is not the only British musical gathering to revise its prices upwards due to the increase in the cost of living, inflation in the prices of technical service providers, the explosion of artists’ fees and the abundance of l offers at festivals. Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party and We Out There have done the same, according to Vice magazine. The Reading and Leeds festival has increased its ticket prices compared to 2019, but not if we are looking at the 2022 edition.
Innovate to stay inclusive
Some are trying to find solutions so as not to alienate the most modest music lovers. Festival Outlook has created a reduced ticket system for its latest edition. The most precarious music lovers could claim it by filling out an online application form. “In the current climate, we realize that some of our attendees simply cannot afford to purchase a full-price ticket to a music event,” event organizers said in a statement. And to add: “we ask you to be honest, support each other and only register if you really can’t afford the full price ticket”. Shambala has launched the “pay-it-forward” program (“pay in advance”) to remain as inclusive as possible. The principle: the artists and music professionals who participate in the festival pay part of the price of admission tickets for those who cannot afford them the following year. “Saving money aside for a festival ticket will never be a priority when you can’t pay your rent or put food on the table at home,” says the cultural event’s website.
Despite these initiatives, festival organizers are concerned that the cost of living crisis will deprive them of part of their audience. “In recent years, many festivals have taken out loans that they will struggle to repay, and we know that people have less money in their pockets than before, so constantly raising prices may not always be the answer.”, Tom Paine, Director for festivals at Team Love, Vice told. Inflation or not, the public seems to be on board. Glastonbury Festival is playing its next edition, which will be held from 21 to 25 June 2023, to a sell-out. All tickets for the event sold out in 63 minutes on Sunday 6 November. “Thanks to all buyers and we’re sorry for those who missed the boat. Demand has far outstripped supply,” festival organizers said on Twitter.