We believe everyone should be able to experience their first festival.
And by everyone, we mean everyone.
During Covid in 2020 and 2021 most young people missed out on the chance to attend their first festival. What we had taken for granted in years gone by, they missed entirely. That made us consider just how important this rite of passage is.
We know, too, that many people face challenges in life that mean they miss out on a festival experience.
This year, the Cost of Living crisis is impacting on people too, pushing a first festival out of reach for individuals and families.
We want to tackle all of this. So we're here to begin to make that change.
So, today, we’re launching the First Festival Campaign at firstfestival.co.uk
We've identified a few different groups of people that we want to support.
1. We believe that as you turn 18 you should be able to enjoy the pivotal cultural experience of going to a festival. We also acknowledge that the closure of events during the Covid pandemic meant that hundreds of thousands of young people did not get to attend their first festival. So we'd like to help anyone who is 18 years old between 1st September 2019 and 31 August 2023 to go to a festival this year. They can register on firstfestival.co.uk, verify their age, and select the festivals they are interested in attending. As we raise money here, we'll then release tickets to festivals, which they can then buy for just £18 inc booking fee.
2. We recognise there's people who face particular barriers to accessing arts and culture. As we raise money here we will pass on donations here to key charities that can support individuals and families in attending their first festival in the areas where they live, or support them to reach and access events elsewhere in the UK. (Also, if you're one of those charities then do get in touch with us so we can connect with you).
3. We know the cost of living crisis is making it harder for some people to attend events. Inspired by festivals like Greenbelt Festival and Shambala Festival, who are both running Pay It Forward Schemes this year, we want to support individuals and families for whom a festival may be just out of reach this year. We'll pass donations raised here to relevant charities who will help identify those people. Individuals can register an interest at firstfestival.co.uk too and we'll endeavour to support them.
We've been inspired to do this for a number of reasons. The realisation of just how many people missed their first festivals because of Covid kicked off our initial conversations. We talk often about our favourite festival memories, and the rite of passage that many of us enjoyed going to our first festivals when we were young.
Then, we learnt that we are not alone. In Germany, France, Italy those turning 18 are gifted a cultural voucher by their Government, ranging in value from 200 to 500 Euros (£173-£434). They've already acted on this. We’d love the UK to offer the same. A Festival Voucher for everyone as they turn 18 The campaign for that begins here.
Until such time as we hope the UK Govt follows the lead of Europe, we’ll be relying on donations from individuals, organisations, funders and others to help build a pot that we can turn into tickets for young audiences.
Thank you for your support.