How many festivals have announced cancellation so far this Summer in the UK? El Dorado Festival joins long list of called off events

"Künstler Gegen Aids" Charity Gala In Berlin
Boney M, one of the scheduled performers at the now cancelled El Dorado Festival, attends the "Künstler Gegen Aid" on November 27, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Gerald Matzka/Getty Images)

Over 40 festivals, including El Dorado Festival, have so far announced their cancellations this summer in the UK, according to a new report published by the Association of Independent Festivals in the UK. On May 22, 2024, the association highlighted the cancellation of the El Dorado Festival on Instagram, stating:

"Yesterday @eldoradofestival announced it was cancelling, making it the 40th festival that we're aware of that has cancelled, postponed or is coming to an end this year. It doesn't have to be that way."

The association's post continued, highlighting the rising costs and supply chain issues faced by independent festivals:

"Many of these festivals would still be going ahead if VAT on tickets was temporarily reduced down from 20% to 5% for the next three years to help these independents get through this pressure of unpredicatable rising supply chain costs and a post-Covid, post-Brexit credit crunch."

El Dorado Festival cancels as AIF sounds alarm

The latest AIF report is a follow-up to two separate AIF reports, one published on February 5, 2024, and the other on March 13, 2024. The former report highlighted the issues faced by the independent festivals in the UK and announced a campaign for the reduction of taxes and fees levied at these festivals.

The latter highlighted the fact that 21 festivals (back then) had already announced cancellations in the early days and that overall 100 festivals were under threat of disappearance in 2024 without immediate help.

The loss of El Dorado Festival, as well as 39 other festivals in 2024 so far in the UK, comes on the heels of over 96 music festivals canceled and closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with an additional 36 lost in 2023 alone.

This, together with the 40 canceled in 2024 so far, makes the total number of festivals closed down in the UK for the past five years to be 172, with an additional 100 under threat as mentioned above.

El Dorado Festival, which was set to feature performers such as Boney M, and Eliza Rose, among dozens of other artists and bands, became the latest festival in the UK to cancel due to rising costs on May 21, 2024. The festival organizers announced the cancellation via a post on their official Instagram, citing cost as the reason behind it

"People of El Dorado. We are heartbroken to announce that El Dorado will no longer take place in 2024. Over the past year, we like many others, have battled with a dramatic rise in operational costs for running a show like El Dorado, compounded by the impact of the increased cost of living on the festival industry and our community."

The announcement by El Dorado Festival organizers continued

"Despite our best efforts, we are faced with the potential for catastrophic losses. The last thing we want to do is deliver a festival that cuts corners and does not live up to what you have come to expect from El Dorado. We have therefore been left with no choice but to cancel this summer's event and look ahead to 2025."

El Dorado and the other 39 UK festivals cancelled in 2024

The list of festivals such as the El Dorado Festival that have been canceled this year in the UK is given below:

  • Barn On The Farm
  • Leopallooza
  • Bluedot Festival
  • Nozstock Hidden Valley
  • Field Maneuvers
  • NASS Festival
  • Escape Into The Park
  • Bingley Festival
  • Nibley Festival
  • Togfest
  • Detonate Festival
  • Takedown Festival
  • Smoked and Uncut
  • Spring Classic
  • Standon Calling
  • 110 Above
  • Connect
  • Ampthill
  • Hayloft Live
  • Wild Fields
  • Love Fit
  • Splendour
  • Doonhame
  • Camp Quirky
  • Neighbourhood Weekender
  • Lowedefest
  • Tunes of The Bay Festival
  • Shindig
  • Askambury Festival
  • Clun Green Festival
  • Illusive Festival
  • Penn Fest
  • Meadow Fest
  • ND Festival
  • Heartwood Festival
  • We are FSTVL Festival
  • Riverside Festival
  • Visions Festival
  • El Dorado Festival
  • Long Division Festival

The list of cancellations and increasing alarms comes on the heels of another report by The Guardian which points out that the cost of living crisis in the UK and elsewhere has led to such a surge in costs that most bands incur losses even while playing sold-out shows.

Simultaneously, small venues encounter growing challenges; some recently opened venues, along with more established ones, have closed because they were unable to sustain their operating budgets.

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Edited by Divya Singh
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