Recession Hits U.K. Arena Sales

The recession looks to have taken a bite out of the U.K. live music business where it least expected it, as 2008 figures suggest ticket sales for arena shows may be down as much as 15 percent.

While Benjamin Mogil, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners, says the U.S. market is standing up well, research carried out by the U.K.’s National Arenas’ Association indicate the British market isn’t so robust.

The NAA’s figures show that, apart from the number of tickets being down, the average ticket price has also taken a knock. The figures are drawn from the 16 arenas that comprise the NAA’s membership – including London’s O2, Wembley, and Earls Court and the major arenas in Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and Dublin.

There’s been widespread industry opinion, particularly at this year’s ILMC, that the major acts touring stadiums and arenas are probably recession-proof, but the 2008 NAA figures indicate live music may be hit hardest where it thought it was strongest.

The NAA is expected to publish the full details in the coming week.