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Survey: weekend camping festivals remain on top

UK-based ticketing company Gigantic finds that fans still want a traditional grassy festival experience, although comfort is becoming more important

By Anna Grace on 19 Nov 2019

image © Gigantic

A survey carried out by UK ticketing agency Gigantic has found that traditional greenfield camping festivals are still the most popular among fans, despite the emergence of many new kinds of festival experiences.

Out of the 3,020 respondents to the Gigantic Festival Survey, seven out of ten favoured weekend festivals over day events.

Almost two thirds (61%) said they preferred traditional field-based events, with 27% choosing city festivals over all else. Only 7% opted for seaside festivals and a mere 3% said festivals overseas were their top choice.

Regular camping was shown to be more popular than glamping, with 34% preferring regular campsites compared to 11% going for the luxury option or a campervan. A number of respondents preferred staying offsite, either at home (22%) or in a hotel (18%).

Comfort appeared to be creeping up on festivalgoers’ agendas. Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they would pay extra for showers, 34% for phone charging, 24% for a VIP bar, 22% for pre-erected tents and 18% for VIP standing/gold circle.

For just over half of respondents, medium- and small-sized festivals – from 5,000 to 20,000 capacity – are best. Small festivals (5,000 to 12,500) were preferred by 26%, whereas medium festivals, from 12,500 to 20,000, were chosen by 27%.

“People are seeing a big festival a year as a summer holiday with their friends”

The ethics of a festival were deemed “quite important” by 71% of respondents and “really important” for 15%, perhaps reflecting the push for festivals to become more eco-friendly and to present more gender-balanced line-ups in recent years.

In terms of acts, the Killers, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Oasis, Pink and Kasabian were among the most common choices for desired festival performances in 2020.

“People are seeing a big festival a year as a summer holiday with their friends,” says a spokesperson for the ticketing agency. “This idea of it being more of a holiday is accompanied by the fact that 35% of those surveyed said they would pay for early access, extending that holiday for as long as possible.”

Reporting a record year last year, Gigantic works with promoters including Live Nation, DHP Family and AEG Live; festivals such as Reading and Leeds, Tramlines and Download; and UK venues O2 Academy Brixton, Wembley Stadium and the Royal Albert Hall, among others.

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, Gigantic is one of the largest independent ticketing agencies in the UK and has sold over two million tickets. The company is currently preparing to launch its own fan-to-fan resale platform.


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