Irish festival-goers spend an estimated €253m attending musical festivals throughout the year according to a new study conducted by the Core Media owned sponsorship specialist Livewire and its sister research agency Ignite Market Research.
The study also highlights that 22% of adults plan to attend a festival this summer and, that on average, expect to spend €316. This means an estimated spend of €253m by festival-goers this summer. This includes pre-festival purchases such as tents and clothing as well as food and alcohol during the festival and excludes the price of a ticket.
A third of festival goers spend the most amount of money on accommodation, including tents and camping equipment. The same amount of people list food as their biggest spend while 20% of festival-goers list alcohol as their biggest spend.
Raincoats were voted as the most essential festival item by 30% of festival attendees, followed closely by a waterproof tent (24%). This is not surprising considering almost a third of festival-goers vote the weather as the worst thing about Irish music festivals. This was followed by the toilets (21%), the price of food and drink (21%) and drunk people (21%).
The survey says that over 800,000 people expect to attend a music festival this summer. Of those who attend festivals nearly a third describe festivals as the highlight of their summer, with a further 26% of people agreeing that festivals are more important to their summer than any sporting event.
Electric Picnic is by far the most popular festival in Ireland, with 32% of all respondents who identify themselves as festival goers saying that they have previously attended the Electric Picnic festival at some stage in their lives, while 22% surveyed said that they plan to attend this year’s event, due to take place in Stradbally in September.
Ireland’s second favourite festival is Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, with 22% of respondents saying that they have attended the annual traditional music festival. Other popular Irish festivals included the Punchestown Festival (15%), Longitude (14%) and Sea Sessions (12%).
In terms of sponsors festival-goers cited Heineken (41%), Guinness (32%), Vodafone (32%), Electric Ireland (25%) and Three (19%) as the most associated festival sponsors.
While the majority of festival goers agree that sponsors add to their experience of a festival, a third of people say that festivals have become too corporate.
According to Jamie Macken, a partner with Livewire: “What our study highlights is that there remains significant opportunity for sponsors to capitalise on the Irish music festival scene. This opportunity exists in terms of an appetite by festival-goers to spend more and the view that sponsors have room to improve with regards to the standard of their festival activations. Add to this an under representation of categories such as camping and accommodation and it is clear that there remains room for more brands to benefit from music sponsorship.”
Mark Grogan, research project manager at Ignite adds: “Our study shows that despite adversities such as inclement weather we’re a nation of festival goers with a third of us saying so. Interestingly there is a ‘hard core’ cohort of festival goers that brands can potentially speak to across a wide range of festivals. These ‘hard core’ festival goers attend at least one festival every year and this equates to 17% of the population. When we looked at this 17% we saw that there is prevalence with regular festival attendance across all life stages. We typically associate festivals with the younger generations however this study highlights the engagement of all generations with festivals. For Ignite and Livewire this highlights the opportunity for brands who are not traditionally associated with festivals to engage with festivals but also for brands who currently engage with festival to speak to a wider cohort of festival attendee.”