Award-winning Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (Beauly, Inverness-shire) leads the field among the UK’s independent festivals when it comes to the amount per head its audience put into the local economy, a recent survey by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) shows. Belladrum, which took place on 7th and 8th August this year, sold out for the first time in the event’s history.
The survey of audiences from 19 AIF member festivals including WOMAD, Glade, Bestival, Creamfields, Secret Garden Party and Cornbury shows that Belladrum festival-goers spend £63 per head in the locality surrounding the festival, more than for any other festival and well ahead of the average £48 per head. This figure does not include money spent on tickets, travel and subsistence at the event, much of which also goes into the local economy.
“We knew that local retailers frequently found that their shelves were cleared during the Belladrum weekend, but we are really delighted to find out how much our audience contribute directly to the local economy in hard cash,” said festival co-promoter Joe Gibbs. “Around 40% of our audience comes from outwith the Highlands which may be why the figures are so good.”
In what is believed to be one of the most detailed surveys of UK festival behaviour, AIF interviewed 3300 UK festival-goers. Over 340,000 people attend AIF members’ festivals across the UK, contributing an estimated £135 million to the UK economy. The results show that 60% of festival goers spend three to four days in the locality an input £16.3 million directly into local economies.
Over 60% of respondents say they attend festivals principally for the atmosphere and 42% spend less than half their time watching music.
Belladrum has also been short-listed for a Scottish Thistle Award in November under the Regional Events and Festivals category. And after winning the Grassroots Festival Award at last year’s UK Festival Awards, the ‘oscars’ of the festival industry, the event has been nominated for the same award again plus the Family Festival Award and Best Medium-Sized Festival.
Belladrum ’09 festured headliners Editors and Ocean Colour Scene plus a raft of other acts including: Twin Atlantic; Aberfeldy; The Saw Doctors; Shed Seven; British Sea Power; Seth Lakeman; Alabama 3; Sons & Daughters; Glen Tilbrook & The Fluffers; The Peatbog Faeries; Lau; Toploader; Treacherous Orchestra; Transglobal Underground; Tommy Reilly; De Votchka; The Phantom Band; 3 Daft Monkeys; Edward II; The Wallbirds; Kid Carpet; Sam Isaac; Broken Records; Magistrates; Healthy Minds Collapse; Sparrow & The Workshop; The Lost Brothers; and Scooty & The Skyhooks.
Belladrum takes place in the beautiful Highland surroundings of Belladrum Estate, near Beauly in Inverness-shire. The independent festival has built a reputation for its eclectic line-ups, its off-beat non-musical entertainments and its all-ages approach
This year the festival was supported by Homecoming Scotland 2009, EventScotland and Highland Council.
Tickets for The Belladrum Festival 2010 will be on sale soon with Skiddle.com/festivals