Festival season is not quite what it used to be. Since the start of 2024, dozens of festivals across the globe have been called-off, leaving fans and artists to question: Is this the new norm?

Music festival shutdowns have hit hard all over the world. According to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, more than 60 Dutch music festivals were cancelled this year, with data suggesting that this is a record number of cancellations, excluding the years of the pandemic. While these cancellations are often followed by replacement festvals, only 30 new festivals were announced in the Netherlands, leaving a loss of 30 events.

Lex Kruijver, an event researcher who works with the Dutch event marketing consultant Respons Evenementen, told the publication that “the market is under even more pressure.”

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“The time of the great growth of festivals is over,” Kruijver said. “It has become a fight and survive market.”

It’s a similar story in the U.K.; 45 festivals were either cancelled or postponed, the Associaiton of Independent Festivals reported, including El Dorado, Riverside, and NASS. AIF noted an increase from 36 cancellations last year and predicted this figure could more than double by the end of the year.

An increase in the cost of living and a spike in costs are partially to blame; according to a Sky News analysis, festival ticket prices have risen 17% in five years, totaling 165.92 in 2024. There are also other factors at play, including the reconstruction of festivals post-pandemic and the increase in production costs.

Freddie Fellowes of The Secret Garden Party told Sky News that global companies that have a share of the festival market can be compared to an “apex predator” noting that they are “there to make money and reward their shareholders. But they aren’t about supporting grassroots, talent, or anything like that.”

They’re not alone, either; in Australia, large-name events like Splendour in the Grass and Groovin the Moo festivals have been called-off this year. Bluesfest, which normally brings-in close to 100,000 attendees, had 60,000 fans attend the festival this year. Bluesfest director Peter Noble spoke out at a Variety Live Business Breakfast in Sydney, noting that the music festival climate is an “extinction event.”

Ireland has seen the cancellation of major events like Body and Soul in County Westmeath and Wild Roots in County Sligo. Even in the U.S., festivals are struggling. Coachella, a once-coveted event, took one month to sell-out of its first weekend — marking the longest sellout for the first time in 10 years. The second weekend failed to sell out.

Other festivals didn’t even make the cut, as Firefly announced it would not return to Dover and Jay-Z’s Made in America festival was called-off for the second year in a row. Lovers & Friends’ inaugural festival was also cancelled, as well as Backwoods Festival and Kickoff Jam.

Across the music industry, we’ve seen big-name acts — like Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and P!nk — thriving and selling-out stadiums, yet other acts like The Black Keys and Jennifer Lopez cancelled their entire tours amid low sales. Part of the reason for low sales could be due to dynamic pricing and ticket price hikes; across the industry, fans are being priced-out of shows, with artists and promoters often dubbed the culprit.