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Date posted:12 Jun 2012
A further three UK festivals have followed in the footsteps of Sonisphere by cancelling for this year, as new research claims music fans feel that sponsorship can enhance festival experiences.
In a troubling trend, the organisers of Cloud 9 festival in Cheshire, Winchester's Golden Down and the Rough Beats festival in Yorkshire have all hit a wall this week, announcing that their events won’t go ahead as planned.
A statement from Cloud 9’s organisers said: "We are so very sad to have to end a project that has been so dear to us for the past four years, we can't express how heartbreaking this decision has been to make. The festival environment this year has been incredibly difficult for many small, independent festivals and has proved to be too challenging for us to overcome". Benjamin Francis Leftwich and The Whip were set to play at the event on Saturday 11th August, but now refunds are being automatically processed.
A statement from the promoters of the Rough Beats festival, which had confirmed Azealia Banks (pictured), Django Django and Gruff Rhys to play over this weekend, said: "It is with a very heavy heart that we write to you to announce that, due to financial pressures, we have no responsible option but to cancel Rough Beats Festival 2012... This is a huge personal blow and incredibly disappointing as we truly believed that the brilliant line-up, the amazing collaborators and the physical and financial investment made by everyone involved was a winning formula and that we were on course to produce one of the most talked about music events of the summer".
Just last week, The Gen asked if UK festivals were on the hop after Vince Power revealed that his Hop Farm event wasn’t selling as well as expected despite an exclusive headline appearance from Bob Dylan. It was also announced this week that Scottish charity music festival Big Stooshie Productions Ltd has closed for business due to insolvency.
In related news, research carried out by Havas Sports & Entertainment suggests that music fans think that brands enhance the experience of a festival, with 65% of respondents agreeing with this statement. The research involved 2,244 respondents across six European countries, with 36% claiming that they would be ‘more likely to buy a sponsor’s product’ after experiencing their ‘activation’ at the festival.
Something about this doesn’t quite add up and you could argue that music fans are now so aware of ‘experiential marketing’ that they can see right through the Strongbow bouncy castle pop-up bar. Also, look at All Tomorrow’s Parties or Green Man- these are festivals that have cultivated strong reputations and devoted audiences by outright rejection of corporate branding, which is increasingly scarce as far as music festivals are concerned anyway.