From the age of 15 up until I was about 22/23, I spent the majority of my Summertime sat in fields with friends soaking up the atmosphere of whatever festival (or festivals) I'd picked that year, always having the time of my life. 10 or so years later from the first time I stepped foot through the gates at Reading festival, I'm 26 and my outlook on the festival scene in Britain has changed considerably. This is probably down to the fact that I'm a grumpy asshole and can't stand the putting up of tents/sleeping in tents procedure.

As I type these words, two major festivals are currently taking place: T In The Park and Oxegen (The weekend also saw the 1234 Festival open its doors again for another year.)

Through the marvels of twitter (I didn't fancy travelling to Scotland, Ireland or...Shoreditch) I've come across an awful lot of people tweeting about the lack of people at whatever festival they're currently attending. From a few minutes of BBC Coverage I've seen, T In The Park seemed to be doing ok, and 1234 Festival has never been that busy anyway, but it seems Oxegen hasn't done quite as well.

And that's just the festivals that have happened this weekend. What about Reading/Leeds? The festival that always sells out immediately, still have tickets available months and months after they went on sale. Latitude Festival is another key festival (though relatively young in the grand scheme of things) which hasn't sold out yet. Glastonbury (which is seen as the holy grail of festivals) was always going to sell out, especially with a gap year ahead of them, but they've not been immune to ticket issues in the past (Jay-Z year?).

The first reason why music festivals are dying could be down to money. When I first went to Reading the ticket price was £90, which is less than half of the current ticket price to attend the festival. £200 to see bands that seem to play the festival every year, having someone piss on your tent and being surrounded by 15/16 years old's picking up their GCSE's, is an awful lot to pay for some people (I did warn you I was a grumpy asshole). Economic issues outside of the 'festival bubble' also have some bearing too, but I'll try to not make this a political essay.

The general rule of thumb for music festivals is to increase the ticket price by £10 every year. Why? Surely that's not in line with inflation? Have the line-ups gotten any better? Have the festival sites improved? Probably not. With the way the industry is going you could argue that band's are charging more to make up for poor record sales, and thus the festivals have to pass the cost on to the consumer, but I don't think that's going to be the case at every festival. A good example of this is Latitude Festival, which was started by festival mogul, Melvin Benn. He apparently started the festival as he wanted something small that wouldn't increase in size too much, a smaller cousin to Reading with a family feel if you will. It worked fine the first couple of years, but it soon fell into a Festival Republic cesspit by the third year. As a regular festival-goer I wasn't surprised by the ticket prices going up, especially considering the first year (and maybe second?) wasn't sold-out, but the fact that he seemingly went against his mission statement and hadn't really improved the festival site in doing so, was beyond a joke.

It's not only the ticket prices that leave a bitter taste in the mouth, but the food too (no need to applaud). The food cartels that pitch up at the festivals have been overcharging us for years, and nobody says a word. It's actually one of the things Melvin Benn got right with Latitude; sure, he has the stalls that charge £6 for a manky burger (£2 extra for chips please) like every other festival, but he also installed a supermarket (is it still there?) which sold sandwiches etc (still a bit overpriced, but better than nothing.)

A couple of years back Michael Eavis brought up the concern that Glastonbury Festival was full of middle-class/middle-aged people, so he booked Jay-Z to headline in the attempt to bring in younger people. He had a valid point I guess, though he probably approached it in the wrong way. You could argue that the ticket prices have a lot to do with the middle-class not questioning their rise, thus feeding the process and ultimately pricing every one out. The reason why this has an effect across the board is due to the amount of festivals that have popped up.

10 years ago you only had a handful of festivals to choose from, but now every weekend from May to August (and some beyond) you're guaranteed a festival will be taking place, often or not with the same line-ups too. The festival boom has given life to hundred of festivals, some good and some bad, but most importantly, cheaper. Going back to the earlier point of bands possibly charging more for their services, you could look at it another way; with live performances being the main way bands make their money, bands tend to play a lot more, thus they might not charge as much. This is reflected in the 'copy & paste' line-ups that seem to litter Great Britain. So why travel 4 hours when you can travel 30 minutes and get a similar experience for much less?

More festivals allow more people to enjoy music, and that's a great thing, but where does is stop?

'Booms' of any nature tend to come with peaks and troughs, whether they come naturally (more festivals) or they're forced (refusal to lower prices). That's a fact of life. It just seems that festivals organisers aren't prepared to combat the natural, which is going to make their job a lot more difficult in years to come.

It's not all doom and gloom though. Take End Of The Road for example. They sold-out in record time and although it's not the biggest festival in the world, it's heartening to see a company approach things in the right way and still succeed.

Are music festivals dying? Let us know your thoughts below.