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Why festivals are music to their ears

AS the summer draws to an end and the last of the music festivals completes its line-up, revellers will reflect on the bands they have seen and the venues visited.

AS the summer draws to an end and the last of the music festivals completes its line-up, revellers will reflect on the bands they have seen and the venues visited.

Music festivals are big business and there is consistent demand for tickets to see the top bands. Indeed, tickets for this year’s V music festival, which is a two-day event held at independent sites in Staffordshire and Chelmsford, sold out quickly.

However, it is not only the organisers which do well from the success of music festivals in the UK. A number of companies have highlighted music festivals as a market to tap into.

In any good survival guide, festival- goers require a tent, general camping equipment such as a gas cooker and a sleeping bag and, naturally, a waterproof to protect against the changeable UK weather.

One of the main outdoor camping and clothing specialists in the UK is Blacks Leisure. The group has high- street stores in many towns and cities. On the whole, the company has experienced a difficult year due to the challenging consumer environment.

In addition, Blacks Leisure has also escaped the advances of Newcastle Utd owner Mike Ashley.

Earlier this year, Sports Direct made a takeover approach for Blacks Leisure, which valued the business at £26m. However the bid eventually fell through and Blacks Leisure noted that the offer undervalues the company.

It is not only Blacks Leisure which has an interest in the summer festival season. Organising a festival requires a number of considerations. One of the points on the agenda is to ensure that there is an adequate supply of electricity to the site.

FTSE 100 business Aggreko specialises in the supply of temporary power solutions for a number of industries.

This year, the group provided equipment to support the Glastonbury festival and supplied more than 27 megawatts of power and 230 generators, for the event. Aggreko also has environmental solutions and at the request of the organisers, a number of bio-diesel generators were used which run on waste vegetable oil fuel.

Glastonbury is not the only high-profile event Aggreko has serviced. The group provided power for the World Cup in South Africa, the Eurovision Song Contest and also supported Warner Bros production of the Harry Potter Film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Aggreko is firing on all cylinders and the business has an international presence. In addition to supplying power solutions to high- profile events, the group also provides equipment for customers running projects in developing countries which do not have the infrastructure to support their requirements.

Given the structural power shortages around the world and their lack of competition, Aggreko appears well placed for the future.

:: Anthony Peart is assistant director of Brewin Dolphin in Newcastle



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