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New scheme launched to help young people who can’t afford music festival tickets

The crowdfunder organised by the Association of Independent Festivals aims to open up opportunities to younger music fans

By Charlotte Krol

Person at MAD COOL festival
(Picture: Andres Iglesias)

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has set up a new crowdfunding scheme that will help young people who usually can’t afford tickets to go to music festivals.

‘First Festival’ (donate here) aims to support those who haven’t been able to attend music festivals upon turning 18 due to pandemic-enforced lockdowns and the cost of living crisis.

If a person’s 18th birthday falls between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2023, then they may be eligible for the scheme.

Those wishing to apply can visit, verify their age, and select the festivals out of the 27 UK-based ones that they’d wish to attend. Tickets to the festivals will be released as the crowdfunder gathers steam, where eligible people can buy tickets for £18.

“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” AIF said in a statement.

Shot of festival crowd
(Photo: Moses/Wikimedia Commons)

AIF added that the scheme has been “built on the belief that, upon turning 18, everyone should be able to access the pivotal cultural moment that festivals provide”.

“But, in recent years, many have not had that opportunity. The COVID-19 pandemic saw most people who were turning eighteen at the time miss out on their first festival experience due to lockdown,” they added.

The increase in supply chain costs since COVID has led to a hike in ticket pricing for gigs, festivals and beyond. Thanks to the pandemic, the festivals industry has been subjected to a 90 per cent drop in revenues.

UK reports that just over a third (36 per cent) of young people have admitted that they’re more lonely as a result of such changes – having to forgo aspects of their social life to manage rapidly rising living costs.

Festival organisers who are interested in getting involved in the scheme can email

The news follows Aitch last year setting up a travel scheme to help music fans get to gigs and festivals.