Festivals: fearless fun

August 23, 2010, 8:42 PM GMT+0

Of those among the British public who have visited a music festival (21% of the public), the majority felt safe there, despite recent stories of security and safety problems, our survey has shown. 43% of these attendees say at the last music festival they attended they felt ‘fairly safe’, while 52% even said that they felt ‘very safe’, pushing the numbers who felt safe up to a massive 95%.

The reassuring results come as festival season continues to thrive. V Festival, held simultaneously in both Chelmsford, Essex, and Staffordshire, with artists performing alternately at both sites, took place last weekend, while Reading Festival takes place next weekend. Another prominent festival to come is Bestival, held on the Isle of Wight, taking place next month from 9th-12th September.

Safety issues

That the public has retained faith in festivals is particularly interesting given that the safety issues of many were plunged it into the limelight earlier this summer. On July 24th, twenty people were crushed to death in a stampede at The Love Parade techno music festival in Duisburg, Germany, resulting in the organisers saying there would ‘never be another [Love Parade]'. And at Latitude Festival in Suffolk, a major music event popular with families, two teenagers reported having been raped, making it perhaps unsurprising that 48% of females who have attended a music festival felt ‘very safe’ compared to a higher 55% of males.

Negative press coverage does not seem to have dented people’s enthusiasm for festivals, though, especially if they were festival-goers already. 51% have been to a festival in at least the last five years, and 30% of the public would ‘still consider going to a music festival’ despite reports of poor safety. Among people aged 18 to 24, the latter figure doubles to an impressive 60%. Only eight percent of the total public feel ‘less likely to go to a festival’ because of this summer’s negative coverage.

And while most of those who will be joining in the tent-side fun will happily expect to enjoy the experience without safety concerns, music festivals are clearly not for everyone - 57% of those surveyed said that they ‘would not have been interested in going anyway’.

Survey details and full results