Let’s look at the facts…

Now that the festival and outdoor event season is over for 2017, we’re in the midst of storing tents and packing away the bunting, whilst also busy excitedly planning ahead for 2018.

To help us prepare for what our beautiful glamping guests want and need for next year, we have been analysing the data provided to us in the insightful UK’s Festival Market Report 2017.  The report – which gives an in-depth examination of consumer demographics, preferences and behaviour – is based on research using a sample of 8000 festival-goers who partook in the annual UK Festival Census, an extension of the UK Festival Awards’ voting platform. 

Areas covered include festival-goers’ opinions on ticket prices, improvements they’d like to see implemented at festival bars, what types of music they consume, their most prioritised amenities at festivals, and much more.  In this blog, we pick out some of the interesting statistics we think are particularly relevant to the glamping industry, together with some facts about the behaviour of festival-goers in general.

The early bird

50% of festival-goers took advantage of Early Bird offers and almost a quarter of them (22%) booked at the first opportunity they got.  We are delighted that so many savvy festival-goers are organised enough to plan ahead and often reap the rewards of doing so.  Some festivals give substantial discounts for those that book early and we would always recommend this as a fantastic way of saving some money.  With Great British Glamping we almost always have incentivised booking deals so if you book your accommodation early you benefit from a discounted rate.


It comes as no surprise to us that music is still the number one thing that people enjoy and go for at festivals, and we have been lucky enough to see and hear some incredible live acts this year.  As many readers will know, live gigging is massively important to acts in the modern age and this was positively confirmed again this season.  There’s nothing quite so great as a cracking live performance in the open air.

The luxury option

Increasingly, festival-goers are taking advantage of more luxury options available to them.  This year 5% of people opted for a VIP and/or Glamping option, following a recent year-on-year increase.  Perhaps more interestingly a huge 84.8% of festival goers paid to use a premium toilet and almost half of everyone asked (46.4%) think festivals should make more use of these sorts of premium facilities.  In fact almost 9 out of every 10 people asked (88%) would consider paying for a more VIP-style access in the future.   It proves to us that people at festivals enjoy the outdoors of a festival but that element of luxury and premium facilities should not be overlooked; the demand is there.  In fact, at some of our festivals our Glamping Village comes with its own private loos and showers, adding real value to our guests.  We’d love to see that glamping figure increase as awareness of what we can offer rises.

Staying connected and technology improvements

Free Wi-Fi is the number one improvement that people would like at festivals (perhaps just Wi-Fi at some festivals would be good but often that dis-connectivity is simply lovely).  Other improvements include further ticket discounts for bigger groups, phone charging and better credit/debit card facilities, or even being able to pay for goods with a smart wristband – a relatively new concept that some festivals have trialled in the past couple of years.

Of course, you can’t please everyone, but what is abundantly clear is that festivals are showing no signs of abating.  In fact, recent news stories show that festival attendance is at an all-time high with a 12% rise in the last 12 months.  This is literally music to our ears as we strive to offer a better experience for our guests year-on-year.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas on what festivals can improve on, or more specifically that Great British Glamping can offer that would improve your experience?  We’d love to hear from you.  Stay in touch with what we are up to and get social by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

And if you’d like to say hello you can get us by email on hello(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)greatbritishglamping.com or talk to us on 07919 021 912. 


Festival character trumps headline acts according to AIF

With the news this week that Snoop Dogg is to headline Mutiny this year, preceded by the announcement recently by Glastonbury Festivals that Kanye West will make his somewhat controversial debut there, do the headline acts on the bill actually matter that much to the majority of ticket holders?  Well, research by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has shown that festival goers value the ‘general atmosphere and overall vibe, character and quality’ of the event over headline acts.

AIF launched a new initiative, ‘Festival Fever’, with the aim of highlighting the cultural and economic impact of independent festivals, with a focus on the broad experiential multi-arts offering of its member events.

The organisation released figures showing that their member’s events have contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy over a four year period.

Extensive audience research conducted by AIF has also revealed that over 635,000 music fans attended AIF member events in 2014, which ranged from 1,500 capacity Barn on the Farm to 75,000 capacity Isle of Wight Festival, and that last year £296m was generated by independent festival goers.  From 2010-2014, over £80m of this came from audience spend along the supply chain including local businesses.

In 2014, only 8.3% of respondents cited individual artists or headliners as the main reason they purchased a ticket for an independent festival, with 58% saying that the “general atmosphere and overall vibe, character and quality of the event” was the key reason for attending.

Almost half of those interviewed (49%) said they chose attending an independent festival over taking a summer holiday last year.  Also in 2014, 58.2% cite “general atmosphere, overall vibe and character of event” as the single most important factor in attending.  8.3% cite “headline acts” and 21.5% “the music generally”- illustrating the broad, multi-arts experiential offering of AIF member events.

Paul Reed, general manager of AIF said: “Our extensive research clearly shows that the independent music festival sector is thriving and enjoying an extended period of fantastic growth.
Over the last 4 years our members events have contributed an estimated £1bn to the UK economy, primarily through audience spend, which has benefited the entire country, particularly local businesses in the areas where these festivals take place.  To celebrate that success we have launched ‘Festival Fever’ to highlight the importance of independent music festivals and to illustrate the huge diversity of wonderful events and experiences our members stage throughout the year.”

AIF co-founder Rob da Bank added: “Wow – who’d have thought our little organisation which started off with 5 festivals meeting in a broom cupboard has grown to be a economic powerhouse generating over a billion quid in 4 years for the economy… fantastic stuff.  I’m even more excited to hear the news that about 50% of our target audiences want to go to a festival more than anything, even over a summer holiday.  That is the dedication of the UK festival goer…  I salute you!  Bring on Festival Fever…”

AIF members participating in ‘Festival Fever’ campaign will wear a digital badge across social media stating ‘Proudly independent,’ with another key component being the launch of ‘AIF TV’, a dedicated YouTube channel, which will host a competition for the best festival fan footage shot at an AIF member festival in 2014.  The winner will receive an ‘Ultimate Festival Season Ticket’ giving them access to all 50 AIF member festival events throughout the year.

At Great British Glamping we’re proud to work with a range of small to medium-sized festivals providing beautiful pop-up glamping villages for festival goers, taking some of the hassle out of attending festivals and making the experience of guests more unique and memorable.