19 percent of young festival-goers expect to use more drugs than usual this season due to rising prices. The alternative is not to go: more than 1 in 3 fans would like to go to a festival, but can no longer afford it.
This arose from research conducted by 3FM and 3Vraagt, the youth panel of the EenVandaag Opinion Panel, around the start of the festival season. Organizers are suffering from inflation and feel compelled to pass on increased costs, including equipment and staff, to the visitor.
The third must skip the festival
And that has a significant impact: 37 percent of young festival-goers skip one or more festivals due to rising prices.
The festival they mention the most is Lowlands: this year they raised the ticket price from 255 to 300 euros. A ticket to that festival had never cost so much. According to many people, Pinkpop, Defqon, Awakenings, and Down The Rabbit Hole have also become too expensive to want or be able to go.
more drug use
Festival-goers who can afford it are anxiously trying to keep their costs down. One in five (19 percent) see themselves using more drugs than normal. These are mainly young people who use drugs more often when they go to a festival: no less than half (51 percent) of them say they will use (more) this year.
“For 20 euros you have an ecstasy pill and a whole day of water at a festival. With beer and food you spend three or four times as much,” writes one participant. 43 percent of festival-goers say they plan to drink less or buy cheaper drinks. A quarter will eat less or cheaper.
Understanding for the organization.
Despite the shock, most young people (62 percent) acknowledge that more expensive notes and coins are inevitable for organizers. “Nobody can escape inflation, festivals just have to pass on their costs,” says one participant. “Better an expensive festival than no festival.”
Another calls on organizers to get creative with costs: “I understand the increased costs, but I also think organizers raise ticket prices too easily. Go smaller, with lesser-known artists, be more creative with the decor”.
Most young people don’t think the government should step in to keep festivals affordable. 24 percent think it’s a good idea, 63 percent don’t.
“Visiting festivals is not a fundamental right. Let’s spend public money fighting poverty in everyday life instead of making this kind of luxury accessible”, someone says. This participant does add: “The only festival that can be paid for with money from the community is the Liberation Festival.”
A discount on tickets for low-income people is not the solution either, according to young people. A third (33 percent) would think it’s a good idea, 54 percent don’t.
Someone writes about this: “Holidays aren’t cheaper if you earn less, are they? Also: there are lots of fun and free festivals in the Netherlands. It’s not like you can’t go anywhere anymore.”
About this research
3Vraagt, part of the EenVandaag opinion panel, sends out a questionnaire to members between the ages of 16 and 34 about once a month. This research was conducted in conjunction with 3FM. The study, conducted from March 22 to April 5, 2023, involved 1,758 people between the ages of 16 and 34. Of these, 1,254 participants ever visit a festival. After weighting, the results are representative of five variables, namely age, gender, education, voting behavior, and distribution across the country.