With yet another festival (Blissfields) having fallen by the wayside for this year, it's pretty clear that fashions are changing.
Blissfields hasn't been hugely ambitious and had (in comparison to other fests) a good offering at a good price, but this was an unfortunate year to go for it - many established festivals appear to suffering a downturn in sales, and i wouldn't be surprised to see a big-name established fest fall this year (it might happen this year but might well not be back next year) as well as other newer events struggling.
eFestivals is of the opinion that the festival peak was three summers ago - the following year held its own, and the drop last year was somewhat hidden by and blamed on the awful weather. While the weather last summer is further affecting sales this year, we don't think it is only the weather that is responsible for the fall-off in the popularity of festivals; they're falling out of fashion and the next few years will show this more clearly.
We expect the coming trend to include (proportionally) fewer advance ticket sales, which of course will make it harder for smaller promoters to run an event, with people making their decisions to attend nearer to an event, in part based on weather forecasts, but also due to a more casual attitude to festrival attendance. It's going to require some promoters to hold their nerve despite the poorer advance sales, but even that won't be enough to save some events into the future.