Music festivals face a lean 2012

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The Independent Culture

Rock and pop stars gearing up to play at British festivals this year may be playing to one man and his dog as festival-goers desert in their droves, according to new research.

The poll, undertaken by YouGov SixthSense, has revealed that fewer than one in three of those who have previously attended a music festival within the UK are planning to go this year.

The report suggests that festival attendance figures will pale in comparison to figures for 2011 with half of those questioned saying they do not expect to go to a festival at all in 2012. One in five said they had not yet made a decision.

Researchers point to the economic downturn, the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and the absence of Glastonbury this year as having contributed to a decline in people wanting to go to music festivals. One-third of the 1,000 adults aged 16 and above who were surveyed said festivals have become too expensive.

Commenting on the report's findings, James McCoy, research director for YouGov SixthSense, said: "While financial constraints may curtail the number going to festivals this year, factors within the industry itself should also be taken into account. For instance, the absence of Glastonbury Festival is particularly significant. It's the flagship UK music festival and the most visible expression of festival culture, occupying a key place in the UK psyche."