Only older people can afford to go to festivals now

17 May 2013

Remember when festivals were full of young people with flowers painted on their boobs, indulging in free love? Well, now they’re more likely to be full of tedious over 30s with John Lewis picnic equipment and an endless supply of Dorset Cereal, according to a new survey by MSN.

camper van hippy

It’s hardly surprising when you find out that the average cost for a British festival is now a staggering £423.01 – that’s including tickets, transport, camping equipment, bottles of Williams Brothers craft beer, crap straw hats and ukelele maintenance.

As festival goers are older these days, there’s also been an increasing trend towards older headline acts. It seems that when you hit 36 it’s impossible to process new things, so campers are much happier to see established acts from back in the days when they were happy and had an intact hairline. In fact, 43% of the 2000 festival goers polled said they preferred to see acts that had been around a decade or more.

The average age of festival punters who go to T In The Park is 37, with Glastonbury at 36 and Reading and Leeds at a relatively sprightly 35 years and eight months.

So come on, Reef – start rehearsing ‘Place Your Hands’ – you've got work to do.

TOPICS:   Cool Stuff   High Street News


  • Justin A.
    Wow, nice blanket ageism. I expect those 'tedious over 30s' are the minimum age range that will commission you to write future articles. Or not. Never clever to slag something off when you'll grow to become the same thing, one day.
  • Piers F.
    We did our bit to keep the average age at festivals down. We took Tarquin and Ophelia along last time and they are aged only 5 and 2.
  • Marky M.
    My kids have no concept of skill or musicianship so they prefer to listen to DJs, and playing other people's music requires no skill at all.
  • shiftynifty
    Considering the UK is an ageing population I
  • shiftynifty
    Considering the UK is an ageing population I am not even the crap dj grimbore is losing younger listeners...although some of the festival prices are shit to see a speck two miles away...
  • Justin A.
    @Marky Mark, "playing other people’s music requires no skill at all". Whoa, not entirely true at all. Many great DJ's have to have the following: An ear for a great tune. A monumental music collection. Ability to programme a set that builds/progresses/entertains. Ability to beatmix records that suit each other and not clash vocals, chords, keytones, etc. Ability to produce and remix your work and the work of others. True DJ'ing is both a science and an art. Ignorant to believe otherwise or just shows a lack of knowledge about jocks like Kerri Chandler, Norman Jay, Derrick May, etc.
  • JonB
    DJ'ing is taken to the next level by people like DJ shadow. Have a listen to his music on youtube/iTunes and read the wikipedia entry on his Endtroducing album:
  • Dougal51
    Tarquin and Ophelia - for real !!!!!????
  • james
    An art gallery curator needs to have: An eye for a great piece of artwork Access to a massive collection of art The ability to layout a room so that it entertains, interests and forms a coherent whole The ability to coordinate the permissions required to get those pieces into the same room and position them in such a way that they don't clash. Doesn't make them an artist.
  • LL J.
    30-somethings outnumbered teenagers at the original music festivals. You know, the ones that are held to have been legendary. Drug-free corporate-branded teenagers bopping around to radio-friendly bollocks makes for shit festivals, nobody should mourn their demise.
  • Mr S.
    Plenty of volunteer jobs, and some paid jobs, at festivals. I've been volunteering with Oxfam since I was 21 (and I'm now 36). Lots of festivals get Oxfam to recruit and manage volunteers. Volunteers get to see the festival when they are not working, and Oxfam gets a substantial donation from the festival. For balance, other charities recruit festival volunteers, and there are paid jobs like working for stalls, security or traffic control. You do still have some costs like travel and food. You also might miss acts you wanted to see if you're working when they're on. If you can cope with that, apply.
  • Justin A.
    @james, Your comparison falls down once you accept my final point: "Ability to produce and remix your work and the work of others." The great DJ's are music makers as well as players, and often became known as producers, writers, composers and remixers before they earned a rep for live performance.
  • lumpy
    A true DJ knows that you never open your set with the 'Birdy Song' and keeps 'I will always love you' for the last track... At least that was the yard stick it was measured to when I went to the disco... Ahhhh....Happy Days! Bezique and lemonades all round...
  • Angry R.
    @Justin Manchester AfterDark '.....Ability to beatmix records.........' I think this is the reason that folk think DJing requires no skill. Having been a soldier on the beats circuit in the halcyon days (between '88 and '98 - IMO), we used to laugh and laugh at your 'superstar' house DJ's beatmixing their way through a night. \Where's the build-up? Oh, there it is, get ready for the drop ......and repeat. Any old clown can beatmix, especially your four on the floor numbers, look for the quiet bit and flip the crossfader. I'm oversimplifying, of course, but you get the point.
  • Justin A.
    @Angry Daily Mail Reader Which is exactly why I also included the qualities "Ability to programme a set that builds/progresses/entertains" and "Ability to produce and remix your work and the work of others." Meanwhile, Norman Jay and Derrick May aren't strictly 'house' DJs, if you know your genres. So they're not 'my' superstar house DJs and they somehow seem to have careers long beyond those halcyon days due to being more than just beatmixers. But it's the crowd that votes with their money in the end and decides who the best are, not headnodding lower tier jocks that think they are somehow superior by virtue of having their own style and throwing disdain on another DJ who does things differently. Snobbery and self-styled elitism have been commonplace throughout the nightlife industry for far too long and holier-than-thou DJs don't progress the business, they hold it back.

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