The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has welcomed its 100th member in January, a milestone that was announced at the association’s annual Festival Congress in Bristol, England.
The festival that broke the 100-member milestone is Eisteddfod Yr Urdd, an annual Welsh-language youth festival of literature, music and performing arts organized by Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Eisteddfod Yr Urdd has an annual attendance of approximately 100,000.
It joins a diverse list of AIF festivals including renowned names such as 2000trees, Barn On The Farm, Beat Herder, Black Deer, Bluedot, Boardmasters, Boomtown, Deer Shed, Dot To Dot, Field Maneuvers, Kendal Calling, Leopallooza, Love Trails, Notting Hill Carnival, Oxjam, Shambala, Standon Calling, Tramlines, YNot?, and many more.
AIF CEO John Rostron commented, “A membership of 100 festivals is a real landmark for AIF. When AIF was founded, we were just five. The work we do collectively, the knowledge we share, the advocacy that we can make through working together becomes stronger and stronger as we represent more and more of the independent music festivals and carnivals in the UK. We have a brilliant, vibrant network of wonderfully creative, innovative and vital organisations and starting 2023 with 100 members strong makes us all very excited about the year ahead.”
The AIF represents almost half of all festivals in the UK that are 5,000-plus capacity. The UK festival sector generates an estimated £1.76 billion ($2.1 billion) GVA for the UK annually (Carey & Chambers, ‘Valuing Live Entertainment’, June 2020) with at least 10% of this directly benefitting local businesses and economies, according to data accumulated by AIF over ten years of annual audience surveys.
The festival sector also supports 85,000 jobs and according to UK Music’s “Music by Numbers” 2020 report. Over 5 million people attended a festival in 2019, compared to 2.7 million in 2012.