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Why festival season can give businesses a reason to celebrate

PUBLISHED: 05:30 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:09 21 August 2018

Music fans enjoying Wolf Alice at Latitude 2018. The regional director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking says businesses should make the most of opportunities presented by festivals. 
Picture: Nick Butcher

Music fans enjoying Wolf Alice at Latitude 2018. The regional director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking says businesses should make the most of opportunities presented by festivals. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Businesses should make the most of festival season, an East Anglian finance expert has urged.

With festival season in full swing a business finance expert is urging East Anglian businesses to seize the opportunities festivals can present.

Latitude, held at Suffolk’s Henham Park in July, attracted 35,000 revellers and is testament to the resilient popularity of festivals.

Steve Elsom, East of England regional director of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, believes such live music events present a host of commercial opportunities for savvy businesses.

He said: “A study by UK Music in 2017 showed that people are increasingly willing to travel from other parts of the UK, and even from abroad, to attend live music events. So-called music tourism rose by 20% in 2016 and almost 1million people travelled to the UK from abroad to attend concerts and festivals.

“Festivals have evolved over recent years and are no longer just about the most famous musicians. They’re also a chance for people to come together to experience dance performances and comedy acts, and try locally produced food and drink.”

“As the range of things for people to enjoy has diversified over the years, it gives firms in the region more scope to get involved and use it as an opportunity to showcase their offering to a larger audience.”

Mr Elsom said Suffolk alone welcomed 39,000 international holidaymakers and business trips in 2017, with the number set to increase as more festivals crop up around the county.

“Many local businesses will be planning to capitalise on this influx of tourists and increased demand in what is a renowned seasonal industry,” he said.

“For those that do, the main thing is to forward plan. Businesses need to ensure that they are managing their cashflow as effectively as possible during peak season.

“In addition, they must also be aware of the potential lengthening of payment times due to suppliers being away on summer holidays, which could impact cashflow or a firm’s working capital.”

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