UK Study: Live Music Drives Wealth

A study carried out on behalf of lobby organization UK Music found that 27.7 million people attended live music events in the UK in 2015. 

Local attendance grew by 14 percent to 17.3 million, making up 62 percent of the entire live music audience. The other 38 percent is made up of music tourists, which generated £3.7 billion direct and indirect spend in 2015, a 7 percent increase compared with the year before.

Some 3.7 million attended a festival in the UK, 24 million went to see a concert. London alone hosted a total live music audience of 8.4 million in 2015, 3.2 million of which were music tourists.

“Overseas music tourism increased by 16 per cent to 767,000 visitors in 2015,” the study reads. The average amount an overseas music tourist visiting in the UK spent increased by 13 percent to £852. Music tourists generated a £549 million box office spend on tickets in 2015, £38 million of which came from tickets bought by overseas music tourists.

Other key figures include the number of full-time jobs in the UK sustained by music tourism, which was 39,034 in 2015. The study also highlights the importance of grassroots music venues (less than 1,500-cap) for the first time.

“These vital venues were visited by a total audience of 5.6 million in 2015.” According to Jo Dipple, UK Music chief executive, “What this report shows, unequivocally, is the economic value of live music to communities, cities and regions.” Andy Heath, Chairman UK Music, added: “The future of British music is dependent on emerging talent, both in performance and business. Securing our future depends on the creation of optimum conditions to support young people to become musicians, songwriters, creative technicians and one of the 39,034 jobs in this report.”

The study was carried out by Oxford Economics on behalf of UK Music. 2016 is the second edition of the report, which was first published in 2013. The full methodology is available at