Festivals in Great Britain are in difficulty

Festivals in Great Britain are in difficulty

The Towersey FestivalBritain's longest-running music festival, has announced it will end with this summer's edition after 60 years due to mounting financial pressures.

Since the pandemic hit, festivals across Britain have rapidly gone into ruin. According to a recent report published by the Association of Independent Festivals, 42 festivals across the UK have been postponed, canceled or closed in 2024 alone.

Besides the fact that the pandemic has wiped out the money that festivals were keeping in reserve, the cost of living crisis has made it more expensive to organize these events. Furthermore, potential spectators have also had their monetary availability reduced by the current economic situation, which has led to fewer people being able to afford festivals.

Towersey is the latest festival to no longer exist, but if current trends continue, many more will sadly follow in its footsteps. The annual event, founded by Denis Manners MBE in 1965 and specializing in roots and folk music, is now run by two of his granddaughters, Mary Hodson and Joe Heap, who have made the difficult decision to close Towersey.

In a statement, they devastatingly stated that: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we deliver this message. Like many other independent and grassroots festivals, Towersey faces the very grim prospect of closing after this 2024 edition, our 60th year.”

The festival's co-directors explained that they had “worked incredibly hard” in recent years to bring the event back to “financial security” after the pandemic, but described the current “economic challenges” as “impossible”. They added: “Without investment partnerships or a fundamental change to the character of the festival, we have come to the conclusion that we will have to withdraw after this year.”

While they are “proud of what we have achieved with Towersey” and the help they have been able to provide to the local community and charities, they now intend to “find a way to continue to fulfill the hopes and dreams of our grandparents and founders, but it will no longer be through the Towersey Festival.”

This year, Towersey plans to go out with a bang, featuring the likes of Billy Bragg, The Staves and Seth Lakeman.

Earlier this year, John Rostron, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, shared his idea to prevent more festivals from going out of business. He suggested a recipe: “We've done some research: a VAT reduction to 5% on festival tickets over the next three years is a conservative, targeted and temporary measure that would save almost all festival businesses that risk going bankrupt this year and many more in the years to come. We need this intervention now.”