It has been another exciting week for festival goers this week with Forbidden Fruit and Life Festival both announcing their lineup for this summer’s events. Both festivals have already attracted huge attention as first round tickets go on sale and their popularity appears to grow in strength and size each year.

Forbidden Fruit started in 2011 when Bulmers partnered with festival organisers POD to bring music, art and fashion to the grounds surrounding the Irish Modern Art Museum. At the time Flaming Lips were their main attraction and the event was a much smaller affair. Since then the festival has grown in size and is now one of the most popular events kicking off the summer. This year is without doubt their most impressive lineup. Australian band Tame Impala are the stand out headliner but their are many more fan favourites including Jungle, Jackmaster and Bondax performing throughout the bank holiday weekend. First tier tickets are currently on sale  for €99 but the most you will pay for a weekend pass will be €120. Not a bad price from the quality of performances you will see. For more information on the lineup and tickets click here.

Life Festival began in 2006 in Charleville Castle with around 500 people attending. After moving sites a few times the event eventually settled in the grounds of Belvedere house, Mullingar. What began as a mix of traditional music, psytrance and arts quickly evolved into one of the premier electronic dance festivals in the country. Its size grew rapidly and has had some major headliners in the past few years. This year is exceptionally good with the likes of Bicep, Paul Klalkbrenner, 2 many DJs and Jeff Mills added to the bill. Early bird tickets are currently on sale and a weekend ticket will set you back €124. Click here for further information.

So why has Ireland seen such growth in the popularity for festivals?  Is it down to more locations being made available to host or is it is simply down to a higher demand for these events? The following are 3 reasons that are likely behind the force of festival growth in Ireland.


  1. Festival Sponsorship

There is clearly a lot of money to be made from festivals but often a significant portion of their revenue comes from sponsorship of the event. For example, Longitude is sponsored by 3 mobile and Heineken while Forbidden Fruit is sponsored by Bulmers. These companies have recognised that festivals offer the chance to advertise to a captive audience over a two or three day period. Promoting their brands within this unique environment can be an extremely powerful way to influence their target demographic. The money these companies are willing to invest in these events are a major driving force behind the improvement and growth of festivals in Ireland.


2. Win Win for Fans and Artists

A festival ticket will usually cost between €95 – €160 for a three day event. For that, fans have access to potentially hundreds of performances over multiple stages. Festivals gives music lovers the chance to explore different genres and artists they have never experienced as well as giving them a chance to see many of their favourites artists within a short space of time. For artists, festivals can be more profitable then playing clubs and small venues. It also allows them to share their music with new fans and drive awareness of their name in the industry.


3. Good Business for Host Cities

All festivals attract vast numbers of people to the area. This often generates huge money for the surrounding businesses. However, with non camping festivals such as Forbidden Fruit and Longitude becoming more popular the knock-on effect can be significantly greater. Airbnb, hotels and hostels often sell out with large numbers of people look for accommodation for the weekend. Bars, restaurants and other small businesses also benefits from higher sales during these times. Recognising these economic benefits, host cities and towns have become more welcoming of events which has led to more festivals popping up around the country throughout the summer.

Its clear that festivals have become extremely popular and are likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. The question is have they reached saturation point? And will smaller festivals begin to disappear among the more dominant favourites? One thing that is clear is that, whether a festival survives or not will likely come down to their ability to create unique experiences for fans and snag the best artists to differentiate themselves from their competitors.