UK audiences for live concerts and festivals were at a record high over the last twelve months, with 30.9 million audience members bringing £4 billion to the UK economy. Showing a rise of 12% in the number of people who have attended live music events over the last year, the UK Music study suggests that music is playing a more important role than ever in UK culture.
According to the study it is not just the number of attendees that is on the increase, but also the distance that people are willing to travel in order to make it to a festival or gig. In 2016 over 800,000 people travelled from abroad specifically to attend music events in the UK, offering an average spend of £850 and constituting a 20% rise in music tourism. Music tourism catered to sustaining 47,445 full time jobs, with a box office spend of £45 million from overseas gig-goers.
In a year that has seen some of the UK’s most important music establishments threatened by government policy and the prioritisation of private development, for instance in the attempted closure of Fabric or the recent worries that NTS Radio would lose its home to make way for development in Gillett Square, the ‘Wish You Were Here’ 2017 report emphasises the importance that the music industry holds in its contributions to the wider economy. Campaigns run by the Night Time Industries Association among others have sought to raise awareness and understanding of the sector’s economic and social benefits, and this latest report will serve as further evidence that the UK music industry should be given greater protection and support.
For more information, click here to read the full UK Music ‘Wish You Were Here Study’.
Read more about NTIA and their campaign to save British night time entertainment here.
Photo courtesy of John Price