Festival ticket sales soar: Here’s what to expect from a summer of live music

Since the government’s roadmap to freedom was finally revealed, music festivals happening later in the summer have taken centre stage. Unseen ticket sales went through the roof and numerous sold-out announcements arrived, alongside the prospect of future fun becoming a welcome reality. 

In fact, once the lockdown easing route was officially unveiled, Ticketmaster saw a 600% traffic increase, with roughly 2 million people heading straight to the Festival Finder guide for the lowdown on which events are set to take place. 

Of course, it comes as no surprise that people are desperate to get socials (preferably in large numbers) firmly inked into the diary. However, the reported speed of ticket sales still managed to shock, with Reading and Leeds selling out within hours of release. 

From our work with BBC Music Introducing at Glastonbury and last year’s creative for the NASS line-up announcement, to endless live events and collaborations, festivals have always been and remain an integral element of our agency DNA, so this is a topic that’s firmly close to our heart. 

Let’s explore the details, starting with exactly which festival favourites are actually happening, post the glorious 21st June milestone. All going to plan (everything crossed), here are the line-ups currently, plus the dates you need to know:

  • Wireless (2 July – 4 July) – Meek Mill, Skepta, Doja Cat
  • Nass Festival (8 July – 11 July) – The Streets, A.M.C Feat Phantom, Andy C
  • British Summer Time (9 July – 11 July) – Duran Duran, Pearl Jam, Idles
  • Latitude (22 July – 25 July) – Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, Snow Patrol
  • Bestival (29 July – 1 August) – Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Becky Hill
  • Boardmasters – 11 -15 August 2021
  • Creamfields (26 August – 29 August) – Carl Cox, Sigma, Tiesto
  • Lost Village (26 – 29 August)
  • South West Four (27 August – 29 August)
  • Reading & Leeds (27 August – 29 August) – Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher
  • Parklife (11 September – 12 September)

Amongst the wave of excitement, there’s also huge financial worry, particularly for smaller festival organisers and independents. Should the worst-case scenario happen, and cancellations occur, insurance will become more critical than ever to provide cover for the possible risks. Many have voiced concerns over a lack of support. However, the confidence levels are still hopeful with the plan for all adults in the UK to be offered the first vaccine dose by the end of July. 

The people behind #WeMakeEvents, a movement to highlight the support needed for the events sector, recently said: “Everyone has been saying loud and clear that without government backed insurance, the 2021 festival season won’t happen. Despite this, the government has not acted and now Glastonbury has been cancelled, which will likely trigger a domino effect leading to a wave of cancellations and delays throughout all types of live events.” If zero support is offered, we hope the latter doesn’t unfold.

A second obstacle includes whether international artists will be able to travel and how border control will impact production. This could mean there is a huge surge in homegrown, UK talent, appearing solely on the stage, which is certainly not a negative. We shall wait to see how travel restrictions could cause planned line-up difficulties. 

From the Paradise Advisory Board, Suzanne Bayliss, an expert within the music and festival sector, predicts how we may see things evolve with the introduction of more wellness influenced festivals. Especially, since the launch of Cloud Nine, from the Vision Nine Group. You can check out Boardmasters in action from previous Paradise x Vision Nine content, here. Interestingly, we may also see marketing managers taking a different creative angle on headline announcements, during promotional periods. Watch this space. 

The final question still hangs in the balance on whether mass testing will take place at events. However, we do know one thing that is for sure. Setting all possible complications aside, it’s certain that music fans are more ready than ever to begin the festival experience and so are we. It’s now so much more than a glimmer of hope with dates on the table, so let’s look forward to a summer of live music, no matter the format, because it’s set to be a memorable one.