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1,000 EU-based bands 'likely to quit UK festivals' post-Brexit

Laura  Barnes
1,000 EU-based bands 'likely to quit UK festivals' post-Brexit

This year, over 1,000 festivals are planned to take place in the UK, but ParcelHero’s new report suggests that a ‘hard’ Brexit could put an end to the party.

It’s a £2.3bn industry, but festival finances are “balanced on a knife edge”, warns the UK-EU delivery specialists.

In a hard-hitting new report – Brexit Means Discord for UK Music Festivals – ParcelHero claims Brexit could make it far more difficult for European festival goers to visit UK events, and for European bands to perform in Britain.

The report reveals well over a quarter of UK festivals’ ultimate survival or collapse could hang on the Brexit deal.
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ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, said the report reveals a fatal £767 million shortfall in festival income if EU bands and their followers quit the UK festival scene following an unharmonious ‘hard’ Brexit.

“ParcelHero’s research reveals around 1,000 EU based bands and artists currently visiting the UK to play festivals - such as the specialist festival for new music, Brighton’s The Great Escape - and permanent music venues, say they are likely to quit British events post-Brexit,” said Jinks.

“If the UK music scene loses these performers and their travelling audience; that could be tipping point for some smaller festivals.”

The report shows that the saviours of the UK festival scene are overseas visitors - predominantly from the European Union. In 2015, 767,000 EU festival ‘music tourists’ visited the UK, spending £38m on tickets.

ParcelHero’s research revealed that one-third of Italians and Spaniards, 30 per cent of Germans and a quarter of French festival goers said the Leave vote would make them less inclined to travel to the UK.

EU-based bands visiting the UK could find themselves in the same position as those visiting the USA. At least seven bands due to play at the South by Southwest festival in Austin this year were turned back by US Customs: some spending the night in jail before deportation.

Despite the issues Brexit could cause with bands and festival goes coming into the UK, Jinks outlined that there may be one benefit.

“Some artists, managers and pundits argue that, despite the issues, Brexit does offer some opportunities for festival organisers and British artists. UK festival goers have been increasingly heading to the Continent in recent years to enjoy music without mud,” he commented. “UK festivals might well benefit from these UK festival goers staying in Britain and attending our home-grown events.”

Tags: eu , brexit , eu exit , parcelhero , uk festivals

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