National & International

Organisers pull the plug on ‘too costly’ music festival

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A popular music festival has been cancelled this summer because of a rise in production costs. 

A drop in ticket sales also means the annual PennFest has become the latest victim in what appears a growing trend affecting musical events in 2024. 

For the past 12 years, the festival had been successfully held in the village of Penn, near High Wycombe. The line-up for this year had already been announced, with top artists including Jess Glynne, Professor Green, and Ella Henderson on the bill. 

Organisers had even planned an extended event, increasing the two days to three, from July 19 to July 21.  

They said in a statement: “It has become more and more apparent that with challenging trading conditions coupled with significantly increasing costs in a very challenging economic climate has made it impossible to deliver the event to the standard our customers have become accustomed to, despite looking at all available options.” 

The Association of Independent Festivals confirmed that PennFest has become one of several festivals to be postponed or cancelled this year, citing costs as the key factor. 

Despite its popularity, it was no stranger to controversy, having been criticised in the past for including the rapper, Wiley. The Grime artist had his MBE revoked earlier in the year following antisemitic comments made on social media. 

Organisers went on to say their “whole team is devastated” by the cancellation but have confirmed they will be working on a “revitalised” festival for 2025. Ticket holders will be contacted in the following days with options to refund or roll over to next summer. 

Further plans are expected to be announced in the second half of this summer.

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