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News June 25, 2019

Report: 42% of festival-goers unphased by gender imbalance

Former Assistant Editor
Report: 42% of festival-goers unphased by gender imbalance
Image: Facebook / Leeds Festival

Ticketmaster UK has released its annual ‘State Of Play’ study into festivals, surveying over 4,000 festival attendees and using the last 10 years of ticket data.

Sustainability and diversity were common issues that festival-goers felt concerned about.

Here are five key takeaways from the report:


Lineup diversity is a rising priority:

The diversity of a festival’s lineup is a bigger priority than ever before, with 29% of respondents saying it played a part in whether they decided to buy tickets. 29% also agreed that there is still not enough diversity.

Even though almost half said organisers have a responsibility to ensure diversity, 42% of attendees said that gender-balance is of no concern to them when choosing a festival to attend.

Waste reduction is on the mind:

When asked about environmental initiatives at festivals, 62% of respondents said reducing waste is important for festivals. 57% also said that festivals being eco-friendly was important, with better recycling and removal of plastics the top two sustainability initiatives.

Despite good intentions, 38% of people admitted they always or sometimes leave their tent behind, while another 5% said they’d consider leaving it.

The average festival-goer is in their mid-30s:

Perhaps unsurprisingly the report found that festival attendance in the UK is evenly split across genders. It might come as a shock to find that the average age of a festival-goer is 37-years-old.

Most attendees go with friends or a partner, and almost a third or respondents attended a festival in the last three years. More than a quarter of attendees say they’re more likely to become friends with their tent neighbours at a festival than their real neighbours back home.

Experience is more important than the lineup:

The music lineup is no longer the #1 reason why people attend festivals. Of those surveyed, more said the main reason for attendance was “experience” (31%), ahead of the music (29%), proof that priorities are changing.

In addition, 6% of attendees will book their tickets before any acts on a lineup are announced, and 29% will book when only half the acts have been announced. 10% book after seeing the headliners only.

BTS mania is real and here to stay:

In a sign that the times, they are a-changin’, BTS was named the #1 act that UK fans would spend the most to see. The band recently sold-out two nights at Wembley Stadium, selling almost 2000,000 tickets. The K-pop act came in ahead of legacy acts Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen and The Who, while Eminem rounded out the Top 5.


View the report in full here.

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