The association surveyed more than 2,400 festival goers across its 31 member events, which attracted a combined total of around 480,000 people this summer.
Each person was found to have spent an average of £461 on travel, accommodation, food, drink and entertainment – a £22.76 increase per person on last year’s figures.
Only 54.9% of the audience claimed to have had their festival spend hit by the recession, as opposed to 71.9% who reduced spending on other forms of entertainment.
The report also found social media has overtaken word of mouth as a major source of festival information, with 57.7% saying they used social media as a major source, up from 34% in 2008.
AIF general manager and co-founder of A Greener Festival Claire O’Neill said: "In the face of what has been a challenging few years for many, we are very happy to see these positive trends for the continued steady growth of the Independent Festival market.
"Year on year from our audience surveys the impact to the UK economy and cultural significance of these events is confirmed. By no means is delivering a successful festival an easy task, and the amazing accomplishments of our members and their teams is outstanding," she added.
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