Festival sector belies industry trends

Unlike music industry profits, festivals are on the up.
Revenue from music festivals has increased 9.4 per cent year-on-year
Revenue from music festivals has increased 9.4 per cent year-on-year

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Festivals are bucking the trend of the declining music industry with the live sector growing by 9.4 per cent in the past year, a newspaper has suggested.

Large summer events have provided a large boost to the increase in revenue from live gigs with monies from overseas licensing and the music business finally getting to grips with the digital side of things helping too, reports the Guardian.

"This really is a remarkable outcome for the industry in the face of the economic downturn," said Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music before admitting that the industry has a difficult year ahead.

According to the Adding Up the UK Music Industry report in 2009, revenue from music festivals has increased 9.4 per cent year-on-year to £1.54 billion.

However, compared to 2008 when the live sector leapt by 13 per cent, growth has slowed down prompting Page to also air some caution, especially when comparing the UK and the US market.

"Most worrying, Pollstar recently reported a 17 per cent year-on-year drop in revenues from the top 100 US tours for the first half of 2010 suggesting that the bubble [over there] may well have truly burst," he said.

Organisers may also face extra pressure if proposed government cuts go ahead.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is suggesting halving the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which could take its toll on the funding some events receive.

Speaking about the news, Fergal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music, said: “We will be doing everything we can to ensure that these cuts have the minimum impact on the beautiful thing that is music.”

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