The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Greenbelt pay-what-you-can tickets ‘here to stay’

The Northamptonshire festival's bold pricing structure for its 50th anniversary helped pull its biggest crowd since 2014

By James Hanley on 30 Aug 2023


image © Jonathon Watkins

The UK’s Greenbelt festival is set to keep its ‘pay-what-you-can’ pricing structure after drawing its biggest crowds in almost a decade to its 50th edition.

The independent event returned to Boughton House, Northamptonshire, from 24-27 August with acts including Laura Mvula, Ezra Furman, Indigo Girls, Lowkey and Bruce Cockburn. Speakers included former PM Gordon Brown and musician and campaigner Brian Eno.

The festival, which attracted more than 11,500 people scrapped its usual tiered ticketing deadlines and replaced them with three price points: £150 for adults in need of a subsidised ticket (Supported), £190 for a regular ticket (Standard) and £230 for a Supporter ticket.

Organisers hoped the move would contribute to a 3% rise in ticket sales, but exceeded expectations by hitting 4% to record its highest attendance since 2014.

“Our 50th festival has been our best ever,” says creative director Paul Northup. “Our biggest for 10 years, there’s been a wonderful spirit onsite. The programming has inspired, stretched and soothed us in equal measure. We’ve loved every minute.

“We’re leaving feeling energised and looking forward to taking the next steps towards what we hope will be our next 50 years; of making a space where artistry, activism and belief can thrive; of Greenbelt still being somewhere to believe in.”

The team behind the event have now put the first batch of 2024 tickets on sale at 2023 prices until the end of September. Festival-goers also have the option of signing up for a monthly instalment plan.

“As the price of everything continues to rocket, we’re not immune to rising costs – those rising prices meant that this year’s festival cost 15% more than in 2022 for us to make,” adds a statement. “So for 2024 we’re going to keep the three different types of pricing, but each of the three ticket types will step up in price at three deadlines across the year.”


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.