Breaking News: Christmas tops first ever Festival League Table!

What would a Festival League Table look like, and who would come out on top? Sunaina Sharma, Consultant, investigates.

OK, to avoid any confusion, let’s clarify right from the start this is the Festival League rather than a Festive League. Now, let’s make a few assumptions about the FLT. Firstly, let’s assume it exists. Secondly let’s assume there’s a really robust measurement in place to assess the viability of entrants to the league. Finally let’s assume a more UK-centric point of view in our thoughts.

The criterion I feel is absolutely vital in measuring league table worthiness is how sad you feel after the festival is over.

Position on the FLT


No. of sad days after festival ends

















New Years Eve/day














So what is it about the Christmas ‘brand’ that makes it so unrivalled in its appeal to quite possibly, most of the world? I think that, in itself, is the answer. Whether you’re religious or not, young or old, frivolous or frugal, the mere fact that you can engage in an activity that you know everyone around you is engaging in as well makes it’s incredibly special. A sense of togetherness, not only on Christmas Day but throughout December. Everyone is always really happy, they are generous with their time and money, and people seem to have a vested interest in making sure others around them are having a good time. That and the fact Christmas is literally an excuse to spend 31 days on the right side of tipsy, surely makes it the top-spotter forever?

Not going to lie, come January 1st I don’t know what to do with myself. The feeling of knowing there is no point in the next five months is truly deflating. I try to book as many holidays as income-ly possible, hire a personal trainer for a month to give my evenings a purpose, pretend like I’m going to detox, and spend everyday thinking about what’s next…Valentines is never successful, so let’s skip that to…Easter?

However, for the sake of argument, let’s explore the potential over-takers…

We’ll be ruthless - it’ll probably never be Easter – having to guess when it is every year is an effort and probably a great barrier to acceptance/inclusion.

Could Glastonbury to be the challenger? Although not a classic ‘seasonal’ festival - it has no religious, literary or mythological fundamentals, I never anticipated how sad I would be when it ended. Only Glasto goers will understand where I’m coming from. Post-Glasto blues – the struggle is real. But alas, no. I don’t think it has the gravitas to actually knock Christmas off the top spot.

But what about Summer? Again, not strictly a seasonal festival, but a couple of months of eventing – Ascot, Regatta, Wimbles, Cornwall camping trips, Notting Hill Carnival, a quick week in Greece, a weekend in France.

Perhaps we could think of Summer as the Overarching Festival, and all the events within just the activations of it? Whichever way you think of it, there are a few months of grieving from September onwards. There’s something special about Summer, there’s something in the air. It feels brighter and warmer – and not just because the sun is out, but the people. There’s a sense of optimism and youthfulness that people ooze in their strides through Richmond Park. Could this be a winner? Should I be controversial and say…yes…?

No. This is a Christmas article and it is December after all. So in the interest of not being a Grinch I think I’ll keep Christmas in (north) pole position. But ask me to write this again in June and the tables might turn…

1. The number of days between January 1st and June 1st
2. The number of days between September 1st and December 1st