As we’re beginning 2022, there seems to be a new light that suggests we’re going to leave pandemic behind us. The excitement for us, is the return of a normal life pre-covid and for us make up for devastations that we had to withstand throughout lockdown 2020 and 2021. One such devastation was the cancellation of music festivals, saw many of the population lose out on seeing their favourite bands and get lost amongst the crowds of lightminded individuals and surrounded by food and drink vendors. Hopefully, this year we can make up for the lost time, which would no doubt be appreciated by event organisers and vendors.

With this in mind, we look at how much the cancellations of music festivals in 2020 impacted the food and drink industry. To do this we explore the top five US festivals to find out.


Coachella is scheduled a go ahead from April 15th 2022 until the 24th, It didn’t un in 2020 or 2021. The world-famous festival delivers beats and eats in equal measure, with the last event in 2019 offering 52 food and drinks outlets to attendees. With an average attendance of 750,000, a spot at Coachella is as lucrative to catering vendors as it is to musicians!

So, how much did it sting restaurants to lose out on Coachella for two years in a row? We looked at the average attendance and average daily food and drink spend to find out.

Food and drink prices vary as much as the food options offered at Coachella—you can get everything from a $7 à la carte item to a $225 four-course meal. For the average attendee, GoBankingRates calculated a daily food and drink budget of around $70. That means that food and drinks vendors missed out on around $52,500,000due to 2020’s cancelled festival, and are set to lose that again this year with Coachella not going ahead.


Summerfest is scheduled to begin from July 8th, 2022, until the 10th. On average the festival attracts 44 vendors. As Summerfest doesn’t release food and drinks prices ahead of time, we have used Coachella’s average food budget for a mid-range spender here too—at around $70 a day, caterers missed out on a staggering $53,900,000 due to COVID-19 wreaking havoc on 2020’s music festivals. They’ll be hoping to make that money back this year, however, as Summerfest is scheduled to go ahead with no reduction to capacity.


Lollapalooza is scheduled to begin from July 28th until the 31st. With an average attendance figure of 430,000 people and an estimated food spend of around $100 a day, food vendors at this festival missed out on $43,000,000 due to the event’s cancellation in 2020.

With the music festival set to go full throttle this year, restaurants are hoping to regain that ground.

Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas

The Electric Daisy Carnival is expected to being in Las Vegas from May 20th until the 22nd. With everyone’s fingers crossed, the event intends to maintain full capacity.  

Though the EDC has a smaller capacity than other events on our list, at 410,000 attendees on average, the festival’s food and drinks takings are amplified by Vegas’ famously high prices. At an average $150 spend per day, food and drinks vendors as a whole missed out on around $61,500,000 from last year’s cancelled event.


With an average attendance of 510,000, the cancellation of Essence in New Orleans last year was a big hit to restaurants and local eateries. Like with Summerfest, we’ve based our estimated takings on Coachella’s average daily spend of $70, calculating that vendors will have missed out on an estimated $35,700,000 last year. With this year’s Essence being a virtual tour, attendees will have headed to their fridges for food to enjoy during the digital festival, meaning food and drink outlets won’t have recouped the costs this year either.

FestivalTotal number of attendeesAverage daily food and drink spend2020 missed incomeNumber of attendees for 2021 (cancelled or reduced numbers)Estimated 2021 income
Summerfest770,000$70*$53,900,000No change in admission$53,900,000
Coachella750,000$70$52,500,000Cancelled – missing out on 750,000 attendees$0 (missing out on the average $52,500,000)
Essence510,000$70*$35,700,000Virtual tour$0 (missing out on the average $35,700,000)
Lollapalooza430,000$100$43,000,000Going ahead at full capacity$43,000,000
Electric Daisy Carnival410,000$150$61,500,000Going ahead at full capacity$61,500,000

Electrix, who supply food and beverage businesses across the United States with electrical enclosures, essential for ensuring the maintenance of food hygiene and safety, commented: “We knew the impact that cancelled food and drinks festivals would have on food vendors would be considerable, but the numbers detailed above really put things into perspective. We hope, that in the near future, we can return to such events safely and once again show our support to these types of businesses.”

With this year seeing the return of several large music festivals across the US, we’re all hoping to be treated to the latest and greatest tunes and dishes once again.


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