LAST week it emerged the Truck Festival had gone into liquidation.

The Steventon-based event had become one of the most popular dates in the summer calendar, showcasing a host of county bands.

But this year the event buckled under the strain of an increasing packed schedule.

The number of festivals in the area has grown hugely over the past few years, with two major new festivals taking place in Oxfordshire this summer.

Harvest Festival, at former Blur guitarist Alex James’s Kingham Farm, will be held for the first time in September, while last weekend saw the inaugural Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park.

It is a sign there is life in the market yet.

But the low-key Emma’s Trust Festival, which is held in Chipping Norton in memory of local teenager Emma Curtis-Smith who died of a heart attack in June 2005, has been cancelled after Harvest was scheduled for the same weekend.

Emma’s cousin Ian Nolan, who organises the event, said: “We just were not able to compete with the names they were bringing in.

“The Emma’s Trust festival is not just about raising money, but also about giving the opportunity for young people locally to perform on a stage so it is a real shame.”

It is understood about 31 festivals in the UK have already folded this year.

Mr Nolan, who runs event management company InEvents and has helped organise everything from the Big Chill to the Cowley Road Carnival, said there was a definite change in the festival market.

He said: “I think people are choosing to spend their money more wisely.

“In previous years, people may have gone to three or four festivals in a summer, now they will maybe do one locally and one of the big ones.”

East Oxford based music promoter Drew Brammer said he knew of three festivals cancelled or under threat this week.

He said: “We have just reached saturation point with the festival market.

“We are in a recession and people can’t spend the money.

“Artists’ fees are really high because they can’t make money selling CDs.”

But it’s not all bad news.

Tickets are selling well for the intimate Arcane Festival, which takes place at City Farm, Eynsham, from September 2-4.

With a capacity of just 500, and headliners including Chumbawumba and 3 Daft Monkeys, organisers hope its size will protect it.

Co-director Amy Blaza said: “The farm where it is based is going fully organic so we are supporting that by selling local organic produce, getting rid of branded lagers and serving organic beers.

“Touch wood, keeping it smaller will protect us from the sort of thing other festivals are going through at the moment.”