Sheffield’s Tramlines music festival lost £40,000 this year - after achieving three quarters of the ticket sales needed to break even.
The event attracted 95,000 people over its three days but 27,700 paid £6 for a wristband giving entry to the main stage on Devonshire Green and numerous bars.
Ticket sales of 50,000 were needed to break even.
A statement from Tramlines said: “Going into the festival we had a range of scenarios that we considered. We had investment of £80,000 and looked at a number of contingencies from selling 20,000 day tickets through to selling 40,000 day tickets.
“We sold 27,700, so just shy of halfway. We hoped to sell more of course but we already have sufficient investment revenue to be certain of next year’s events.
“We are not alarmed and consider the event to be a financial success and more importantly the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the festival going public.”
Tramlines was forced to charge festival-goers for the first time this year due to a combination of reasons, including Sheffield Council halving its annual contribution to £42,000 in March and main sponsors Nokia pulling out of a £100,000 contract in January.
Despite the festival failing to break even, revellers brought a boost for many bars.
Alex Buchanan, of sponsors Thornbridge Brewery, said: “We had record sales across our pubs and also at the Folk Forest where we are most involved.”