Festival-goers to spend €253m attending Irish music festivals across the year, according to a study by Livewire, the sponsorship specialists

  • Electric Picnic and Fleadh Cheoil are the two most popular summer music festivals
  • Attendees spend most cash on festival accommodation
  • Raincoats voted most essential item for attending festivals
  • Weather named as worst thing about Irish music festivals
  • Heineken most recognised music festival sponsor


A new study conducted by Livewire, the sponsorship specialists, and their partners, Ignite Market Research, highlights that 22% of adults plan to attend a festival this summer and, that on average, expect to spend €316 each. This means an estimated spend of €253m by festival-goers this summer. This includes pre-festival purchases such as tents and clothing as well as food and alcohol during the festival and excludes the price of a ticket. Interestingly Irish festival goers feel that they spend too much money on festivals with 60% agreeing with the statement ‘I spend too much money at festivals’.

A third of festival goers spend the most amount of money on accommodation, including tents and camping equipment. The same amount of people list food as their biggest spend. 20% of festival-goers list alcohol as their biggest spend.

Raincoats are voted as the most essential festival item by 30% of festival attendees, followed closely by a waterproof tent (24%). This is not surprising considering almost a third of festival-goers vote the weather as the worst thing about Irish music festivals. This was followed by the toilets (21%), the price of food and drink (21%) and drunk people (21%).



When we compare festival attendance to other attractions over the summer, we see that over 800,000 people expect to attend a music festival. This compares to attendances of 1.3 million at both the 2016 GAA Senior Football and Hurling Championships. Of those who attend festivals nearly a third describe festivals as the highlight of their summer, with a further 26% of people agreeing that festivals are more important to their summer than any sporting event.

Electric Picnic is by far the most popular festival in Ireland, with 32% of all respondents who identify themselves as festival goers saying that they have previously attended the Electric Picnic festival at some stage in their lives. 22% surveyed said that they plan to attend this year’s event which is due to take place in Stradbally in September.

Ireland’s second favourite festival is Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, with 22% of respondents saying that they have attended the annual traditional music festival. Other popular Irish festivals included the Punchestown Festival (15%), Longitude (14%) and Sea Sessions (12%).



Before anyone has taken to the stage, festival-goers have listed Heineken (41%), Guinness (32%), Vodafone (32%), Electric Ireland (25%) and Three (19%) as the most associated festival sponsors.

While the majority of festival goers agree that sponsors add to their experience of a festival, a third of people say that festivals have become too corporate.


 Jamie Macken, a Partner with Livewire, says:

“What our study highlights is that there remains significant opportunity for sponsors to capitalise on the Irish music festival scene. This opportunity exists in terms of an appetite by festival-goers to spend more and the view that sponsors have room to improve with regards to the standard of their festival activations. Add to this an under representation of categories such as camping and accommodation and it is clear that there remains room for more brands to benefit from music sponsorship.”


For further information, check out http://www.livewire.ie/the-wire

or follow us on @LivewireIRL

Mark Grogan, Research Project Manager at Ignite, says:

“Our study shows that despite adversities such as inclement weather we’re a nation of festival goers with a third of us saying so. Interestingly there is a ‘hard core’ cohort of festival goers that brands can potentially speak to across a wide range of festivals. These ‘hard core’ festival goers attend at least one festival every year and this equates to 17% of the population. When we looked at this 17% we saw that there is prevalence with regular festival attendance across all life stages. We typically associate festivals with the younger generations however this study highlights the engagement of all generations with festivals. For Ignite and Livewire this highlights the opportunity for brands who are not traditionally associated with festivals to engage with festivals but also for brands who currently engage with festival to speak to a wider cohort of festival attendee.”

For further information, check out http://ignitemr.com/Festivals/ or follow us on @ignitemr.com


About the study:

The study was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people between 19-25 May 2017. Of this 1,000 people, 297 defined themselves as festival goers.

22% of adults say that they will attend a festival this summer. On average, we estimate that those who will attend a festival this summer will attend 1.4 festivals. Based on the average spend per festival (€226) we estimate that Irish people will spend €316 each on festivals across the year. When we extrapolate this up to the total population of adults planning to attend a festival, we estimate that in total they will spend €253m on festivals this year.


About Us:

 Livewire are sponsorship specialists that guides brands and rights holders through every stage of the sponsorship process. With an emphasis on return on investment, all sponsorship strategies created by Livewire are developed to ensure clients gain real and measurable value from their partnerships.

Livewire is part of Core Media Group, Ireland’s largest media communications group. The company is also a member of the European Sponsorship Association.

Ignite Research is a strategic market research agency based in the heart of Dublin. As part of the Core Media group, we are a dynamic agency with a team of experienced and inquisitive researchers, Ignite uses the latest thinking and techniques to find better ways to solve consumer and business research problems.

Ignite works to push the boundaries of how things have always been done to find a better way of delivering research and insight in the rapidly changing world which consumers and businesses operate in.