Music festivals across Scotland are DYING due to the cost of living crisis, organisers warn

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MUSIC festivals across Scotland are dying due to the cost of living crisis, organisers say.

Bosses have had to call off bashes due to poor ticket sales as punters endure pressure on pay.


Alan Govan director of planning and development for MugStock
MugStock headliners Idlewild axed


MugStock headliners Idlewild axedCredit: Roddy Scott – The Sun Glasgow
Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream was cancelled as Midnight Sun Weekender was unable to cover the cost


Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream was cancelled as Midnight Sun Weekender was unable to cover the costCredit: Getty

Fledgling and established events are among those to be axed or pushed back.

Alan Govan, 41, director of planning and development for MugStock, said around £25,000 was lost from the postponement of this year’s event.

The businessman, of Cumbernauld, wants tax breaks that are available to theatres, TV, film and museums to be extended to festivals.

He said: “Costs have risen dramatically, in some cases by 300 per cent. These tax reliefs exist to help make it financially easier for companies to create cultural experiences.

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“If independent festivals don’t prosper, the only option will be larger, commercial events.”

Music tourism is worth more than £580million to the economy but promoters have lost millions, punters are chasing refunds and performers and crews are left scrambling for other gigs.

MugStock was due to be held this week in the grounds of Strathallan Castle in Auchterarder, Perthshire. Scots rockers Idlewild had been hand-picked to top the bill.

But despite achieving its “best-ever sales”, the event has been “postponed”.

Customers have been given the choice of a full refund on the £65 day or £160 weekend tickets or to roll them over to next year.

Out East was also to take place this week at Dalkeith Country Park, in Edinburgh, featuring Faithless, Sister Sledge and Goldie.

Organisers scrapped it in June due to “an incredibly tough time in events” and “escalating production and venue costs”.

Fans were told to contact their vendor for a refund on their £50 tickets.

And the Midnight Sun Weekender was due to be held in Lews Castle Grounds in Stornoway, Western Isles, in May.

The line-up boasted John Fogerty, Primal Scream and the Pretenders.
Organisers blamed “rising costs and limited availability on festival infrastructure” as well as “the cost of living crisis” hitting ticket sales.

Out East organiser Shane Grieve, of Edinburgh, said: “Last year was the busiest ever for Scotland’s live music and festival history as we emerged from Covid.

“This backlog brought on equipment and staffing shortages due to the number of shows and amount of people who left the industry during the pandemic. This resulted in a price hike.

“Equipment and staffing costs have increased even further. This has pushed many festivals from breaking even into loss-makers.”

The Association of Independent Festivals says there were 600 events held across the UK four years ago.

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Numbers dwindled by a fifth this year, with only 482 slated to be held.

Chief exec John Rostron said: “What the festival sector needs right now is a small but speedy intervention to ensure operators are able to see through challenges of 2023, such as energy costs, inflation and the cost of living crisis.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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