Pack your wellies and your wallet

Posted June 19, 2008 - Press Releases

Today’s generation of festival fans will spend the equivalent of the price of a week’s holiday in the sun this summer, as they head to see and be seen at festivals throughout the country, according to a new study released today.

  • A quarter of festival fans now spend over £500 per trip
  • “Kate Moss effect” blamed for rising emphasis on designer clothes
  • 18% of us will see less than 5 hours of music per festival this summer
  • 49% of us struggle to name the bands we actually see
  • 45% of festival goers would love to re-live their favourite festival moments from the comfort of their own home

The survey of 3,000 festival fanatics, commissioned by Freeview Playback, the new subscription free digital TV recorder, reveals that today’s generation of festival goers have long since forgotten the free spirit of the tye dye filled, Summer of Love inspired gigs of the past and are often more concerned about dressing in the latest designer clobber and pitching their Cath Kidson tent than seeing the music on offer.

As the festival season gets into full swing this Friday with the return of Glastonbury, the research indicates over a quarter of festival fans (27%) will now spend in excess of £500 preparing for and during their festival weekend. The “Kate Moss effect” in particular has made a lasting impact on female festival goers, with a third admitting that they had to shop for a completely new wardrobe, including designer wellies, waterproofs and tents to take with them for their festival weekend.

Fans revealed that the average costs of festival essentials, such as tickets (£150), new designer clothes (£250), travel (£100) and beer tokens (£100) were their biggest expenses. However, despite these high costs, much of the country’s gig goers will still be attending a festival this summer, even though the music may not be their priority. Despite a hardcore 4% of us claiming to spend up to 20 hours watching bands play live at festivals, in reality nearly half (49%) of festival goers have admitted that they will struggle to actually remember which bands they see.

18% admitted that they will take in less than 5 hours of music over their festival weekend, preferring instead to socialise with friends, wander around the site, and take in the atmosphere. 57% were looking forward to having plenty to eat and drink, 29% confessed that their top concern was looking good and nearly a quarter will ensure that they stay in the best surroundings possible (22%).

17% of fans went on to reveal that the main reason for them missing a band that they really wanted to see was that they were stuck in a queue for food, drinks or the toilet, whilst a further 13% revealed it took them too long to traipse across the site to get to the stage to get a decent view. 22% also confessed that they got so carried away with the festival atmosphere, that they couldn’t help drinking as soon as they got to their festival destination and 16% of them were unashamedly worse for wear by the time the headline acts take to the stage.

The combination of all these factors no doubt caused 45% of festival goers to admit that given the chance, they would love to re-live their favourite festival moments from the comfort of their own home on their return.

Festival fans highlighted the low quality of the food (23%), losing their friends in the crowd (19%) and having to buy tokens for drinks (12%) as their key festival gripes. 65% of them also let slip that they missed that sleeping in their own beds whilst away, with a further 35% missing a good home cooked meal.

Ilse Howling, General Manager from Freeview said:

“Despite the spiralling costs that festival goers are forking out, most of us will still miss out on seeing a band for one reason or another. Freeview Playback is the smart choice for festival lovers, as they can record and relive their favourite moments when they arrive home. If you’re watching a gig on live telly, you can run the show by using the pause and rewind button, so you don’t miss a thing.”

Music fans in the South East confessed to spending the most on their festival trips, with 37% of them splurging up to £500 in preparation and whilst they were there. Meanwhile 25% of Scots admitted that they would be avoiding camping altogether and checking into hotels nearest to their chosen festival venues, compared to 66% of Welsh gig goers who put up their tents in less than 5 minutes flat.

72% of gig goers in the North East and 56% in North West revealed that they were worst for remembering bands that they had seen, affected by the admission that they start drinking as soon as they arrive at their destination.

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