A new report by UK Music highlights the economic impact of the post-Covid return of touring, as 14.4 million music tourists helped generate £6.6 billion (€7.7bn) in spending.
The trade body’s Here, There and Everywhere study reveals that total attendance at UK music events in 2022 was 37.1m (30.6m concerts/6.5m festivals), with the number of music tourists totalling 13.3m domestic (defined as fans who have travelled more than three times an average commute) and 1.1m foreign.
Music tourism spend covers both direct and indirect spend, including ticket sales, food and beverage sales, merchandise, venue parking, camping fees, accommodation, travel, and additional spending outside of venues while visiting the UK for a live music event, as well as spending indirectly supported by such businesses’ supply chain.
“Music is one of our country’s great assets – not only is it absolutely critical to the economic success of our local areas, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map,” says UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
“In 2022, music pulled more than 14 million tourists into local areas and supported £6.6 billion of spending in local economies across the UK. This is testament to just how important a thriving musical ecosystem is for our towns and cities.
“But while music generates huge benefits for our local areas, the infrastructure and talent pipeline that it relies on still faces huge challenges. With a venue closing every week, one in six festivals not returning since the pandemic, and many studios facing huge economic pressures, it’s vital that we protect the musical infrastructure that does so much for our towns and cities.”
“POST-PANDEMIC, THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN TRANSFORMATIVE PLACEMAKING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER”
Total employment sustained by music tourism in 2022 –the first full year of post-pandemic festivals, gigs and concerts in the UK – was 56,000.
A key part of the report, meanwhile, focuses on the action that towns and cities across the UK can take to use music to help boost their local economies and support jobs.
A special toolkit contained in the study outlines how local authorities and others can utilise existing funding and spaces to help music thrive across the UK, and includes four recommendations for local councils on how to build their own music communities.
“Post-pandemic, the role of music in transformative placemaking is more important than ever – and this report provides a valuable toolkit for local authorities to help them seize the benefits of being a ‘music city’,” adds Njoku-Goodwin.
“By harnessing the power of music, nations and regions across the UK can generate thousands more jobs, boost economic growth and attract even more visitors to the local area. This report shows how to turn that potential into reality.”
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