Warming up for the summer festival season.

Come rain or shine, festivals are an increasingly popular fixture on Europe’s summer agenda. In recent times, it seems as though each year brings forth a new batch – each one with its own unique appeal.

The expansion and diversification of the festivals on offer means there’s now something to suit all tastes and ages, which explains why more and more of us are getting involved.

But did you know that authors’ societies are behind many of the festivals you might find yourself at this summer? For example, Sabam – the Brussels-based author society – will be sponsoring numerous Belgium festivals in 2012, from five-day rock fest the Dour festival to the Francofolies, a folksy celebration of French song.

In Spain, the Fundación Autor SGAE is gearing up to mark the International Day of Music on June 21 by organising a whole host of free concerts that will take place in Barcelona, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia.

There’s more to festivals than just having a good time. A recent study of 841 festivals in France by the author society Sacem reveals that they bought in funds of about 12 million euros for their members in 2011, demonstrating that their importance is economic as well as cultural.

And of course, live music isn’t the reserve of summer festivals. New research by PRS For Music shows that the top 100 live music venues in the UK alone put on an incredible 13,781 concerts last year, demonstrating just how important live music is to local and national economic growth. The Southbank Centre in London I stop of the list – hosting 422 musical events over the year, attended by over one million people.