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Time To Face The Music: Rising Costs Mean Festival Bubble Could Be About To Burst

9383713124 848713af0f mInternational delivery experts ParcelHero say the party could be over all too soon for many planned summer events as costs soar.

As festival-goers set sail for the Isle of Wight the international delivery expert ParcelHero is warning that the UK’s festival scene could be about to face the music: because of rising logistics costs and the Great British Weather.

ParcelHero’s research reveals the number of festivals has grown over 600% since 2004. There are over 1,000 festivals planned in the UK for 2016; with ticket prices rocketing to well over £200 for some of the largest music events. It has become a £2.3bn industry; but now some industry experts are arguing these numbers are unsustainable, and ParcelHero is cautioning that ever-rising logistics and infrastructure costs could be enough to burst the festival bubble.

David Jinks, ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research warns: ‘The UK’s biggest festival, Glastonbury, has a turnover of £37m: but that doesn’t mean its fields are paved with gold. It sees profits of just £86,000; such are the costs of its logistics and infrastructure: that’s less than 50p per ticket!’ 

As the festival scene reaches saturation, it’s an increasingly tough business: prominent events such as The Big Chill, Sonisphere, Oxegen and Cloud 9 have all fallen silent in recent years as the overheads stack up.

And in a new report – Facing the Music: The Hidden Cost of Festivals -  ParcelHero is warning 2016 could see many more fail. Already this year the fiercely independent Temples Festival in Bristol cancelled just four days before it was due to open; and Manchester’s All Today’s Parties festival, and Forgotten Fields 2016 in Tunbridge Wells, were axed at short notice. Even Minehead’s popular electronic music festival, Bloc, has sounded its last synthesiser this spring; with its organisers choosing to retreat to the safety of a permanent music venue from now on; due to escalating logistics and infrastructure fees.

David explains: ‘As specialists in delivering large and heavy items, we know the transport costs behind a big event are frightening. The five stages at Download weigh 278 tons and require 57 artics to transport them. There are also 160 tons of lights, sound and video equipment to move. All this costs money. And then there are the added costs: for a decent size festival you can expect to pay up to £100,000 for electricity; the security alone at the Isle of Wight Festival cost £1m; and it costs £30,000 at Festival No 6 just to take the, err, waste, away.

Rising costs can make all the difference. When its policing costs rose from £29,000 to £175,000 The Glade Festival had no choice but to close down, and that’s just one event. A wet summer can make all the difference; in the decidedly damp summer of 2012, 57 UK music festivals were cancelled, most never to return. To get an idea of the impact, the 2013 Cornbury Festival (fondly known as Poshstock) sold 1,200 tickets on the day of the event, but in soggy 2012 a meagre 200: £80,000 less. David adds:

All these costs are before you pay for the artists. And since 2008 musicians have had to make more money out of performing than recorded music; thanks to the rise of music streaming. Organisers pay over $1m for Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber and Madonna. though Bob Dylan can be hired for $150,000, Ed Sheeran $125,00, and the Kaiser Chiefs are a snip at $25,000.

So what about a nice book festival instead? Says David: ‘It appears book festivals are nearly as heavy as heavy metal! 60,000 books were sold at the Edinburgh literary festival last year: now 60,000 hardbacks weigh at least 60 tonnes - the equivalent to 38 delivery van loads! The numbers can be impressive; but that doesn’t ensure a profit. The Financial Times reported the 2012 Cheltenham Literature Festival sold 135,000 tickets for £4,887,251 – but spent £4,937,645: a loss of over £50,000!

Concludes David: ‘There’s little doubt the festival scene has peaked; and only those events with the deeper coffers will survive the spiralling increase in costs. The future of the UK festival scene is balanced on a knife edge: one more poor summer could see the end of festivities for many of our favourite events.

For more information on the costs and logistics of the festival industry, see 

Just a few weeks before UK’s biggest wheels-themed family festival

It's just a few weeks to go until the UK’s biggest wheels-themed family festival, Is now in its third year and taking place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June.

The organisers have just announced a host of brand new attractions for this year, including a daredevil motorcycle stunt team, international championship racing on the beach and an Italian Job-style car chase with a British seaside twist!

Just to remind you this is free-to-view Bournemouth Wheels Festival is  fully charged showcase of all things that go round and round! Is now in its third year and taking place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June

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Why not stay over for the weekend, find hotels in Bournemouth and save up to 80% on your hotel deal !!


Motorcycle Stunt Team ResizedReturning to the UK’s premier destination with a packed programme of driving demonstrations, displays and family attractions, highlights for Wheels 2016 include the popular Monster Truck Arena. This year’s arena will offer side-by-side racing and combined shows with everyone’s favourite death-defying Aussie, the Kangaroo Kid, on all three days.


Precision driving ace, Paul Swift, is back with a new show based on classic, The Italian Job. Complete with red, white and blue Mini Cooper S’s, the display features a police car in hot pursuit!

 Also new for this year is the Two Brothers Motorcycle Stunt Team, bringing a jaw-dropping show to the cliff-top Pop-Up Arenas starring professional TV and film street bike stunt riders, Ash) and Vandal. In another Wheels debut, there are more motorcycle tricks and trials on the beach with displays from the Xtreme Stunt Team.

BXUK Championships Wheels ResizedA major pull for motorheads will be the 2016 BXUK British Beachcross Championship – an international race series for solo and quad bike teams and riders which will take place on the golden sands next to Boscombe Pier.


Councillor Lawrence Williams, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, said: “It’s exciting to see such a wide range of new attractions for Wheels 2016. The festival is well established in Bournemouth’s event calendar and it’s wonderful that it continues to evolve and appeal to new participants and performers, many of whom are well respected in both the motor and entertainment industries.”

In a fantastic festival first a 42-metre big wheel comes to Bournemouth from 13 May – 5 June, offering spectacular panoramic views of the resort and its breath taking coastline.

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Now's the time to buy your train tickets, saving you money with TheTrainLine


For the latest details of what’s on, opening times and other event information,


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