It’s summer, that usually means festivals!  Well, sadly, not this year.  This week would have been Glastonbury 2020 which would also have been its 50th celebration. The Purple Lime team have a strong love of music and several are seasoned festival goers.

Michael Eavis held the first Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, September 1970. It was called the ‘Pilton Pop, Folk and Blues Festival’, and lasted for just one day. Locally it was known as the ‘Pilton Pop Festival’ and a hang out for hippies far and wide.

The entry fee was only £1, which also included free milk from Michael Eavis’ dairy. The original headliners, The Kinks pulled out, and a folk-rock duo, Tyrannosaurus Rex saved the day.

After the first festival in 1970, it took place intermittently until 1981. Since then it has been taken place most years, except for fallow years which occurred at five-year intervals, to give the land, local population and organisers a break.

Glastonbury is now the largest single music festival in the UK.

Sadly, due to Covid19, the majority of festivals due to take place this summer around the world have been cancelled until 2021.

What is the monetary benefit of festivals?

The Art and Humanities Research Council report there are over 350 UK Folk festivals, which generate a spending of over £77 million each year. Festivals are big business.

Mintel estimated the value of the UK music festivals and concert market to be worth just over £2.6 billion in 2019.

Festivals don’t just make money at the event. They sustain thousands of full-time jobs. In 2014, 13,543 jobs were sustained by music tourism at festivals.

There is a range of festivals that cater for enthusiasts from all types of music from jazz, folk, to rock and classical, and anything inbetween. Festivals can be for food, drink, books, specific cultures, and can include carnivals.

The people visiting some of these festivals need places to stay, restaurants and bars to eat, which generates income to the local area and provides tourism for the local economy – even if it can mean traffic jams and disruption.

For some musicians and artists, festivals have become an essential part of their income stream. The impact of Covid19 has been dramatic for many musicians and artists and festival organisers across the globe. Spare a thought for them at the moment.

Who attends festivals?

According to statistics, just under 30 million people attended UK music festivals in 2018. (Statista.com)

In 2016, 50% of festival goers were aged 30 years and under, with the largest share being aged between 21 and 25.  The gender divide being 40% male 60% female.

Purple Lime Team Members’ experiences of Festivals

Do you attend any music festivals, and which are your favourites?

One person replied they hadn’t been for at least ten years, and they were teenage memories they’d rather forget!

Tom said he loves music festivals, and has been to many in the UK and across Europe. He loves the music, the sound, the atmosphere, and the action-packed fun and messy weekends away with friends.  What’s not to love – apart from the toilets?

He has a very diverse taste in music but not much that is mainstream. His favourite UK festival is Arctangent. This is a small, very relaxed, well run festival based just outside Bristol. The line-up is a dream for the fans, focusing on quite niche genres of math rock, metal, post rock and experimental music.

The festival he’s attended most is the NASS Festival, which is a music and extreme sports festival with pro competitions in Skateboarding, BMXing, In Line and Motocross.

Hayley, has attended lots of festivals, being a huge music fan including Global Gathering, Cream Fields and WOMAD. She preferred Global Gathering for the music, but thinks WOMAD is by far the best for variety and feel good factor.

Julia attended festivals, ‘back in the day’ as she grew up in New York and Washington D.C, and went to some great open-air gigs and festivals.  The Governors’ Ball Music Festival was a great venue to see some big names, such as Notorious B.I.G and Wu-Tan. Bric Festival in Brooklyn had amazing energy.

Have you ever attended Glastonbury Music Festival?

Out of our intrepid festival gang, two have attended Glastonbury, and that was Julia and Angela. Julia went when she first arrived in the UK. She was 19, and had no preconceptions of the festival. She experienced it at its fullest; toilets, mud fields, camping and all. She hasn’t gone back since possibly due to the trauma!

Sadly for Hayley, this year was the first time she, along with friends, had registered for tickets, and then it was cancelled.

Angela has been to Glastonbury several times and had a ball – one of her highlights was meeting David Beckham.

And finally!

Don’t let anyone tell you accountants are boring!

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