UTA IQ Study Finds Millennials Spending And Traveling More To Drive A ’New Golden Era’ Of Live

ACL Music Festival 2022 Weekend 2
AIR FARE NOT INCLUDED: Atmosphere during Flume’s performance during weekend two, day two of Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 15, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)

At least in the United States, live music fans appear overwhelmingly eager to attend shows as well as continue to attend virtual events, says UTA IQ, United Talent Agency’s research, data and analytics division. That’s the conclusion of a study entitled “Standing Room Only: Live Music’s Epic Resurgence,” released today.

And they’re willing to spend more, too, the study concludes. From VIP tickets to international travel, American fans have become more willing to spend more dollars on live events, inflation and post-pandemic economic jitters be damned.

UTA IQ, in collaboration with Variety VIP+, finds that one in three live music fans say concerts and music festivals have become more important to them post-pandemic, and they are attending more concerts and festivals than they did in what was a record-setting pre-COVID period.

The high demand for live experiences is predicted to continue unabated, according to the study, well beyond summer 2023. It shows U.S. consumers attending more concerts and festivals, spending more on tickets and increasingly willing to travel – not only to U.S. destinations but internationally as well – to live their best concert lives.

Among the report’s key findings is that Millennials (ages 26-41), who comprise the most avid concert and festival goers, are fueling live music’s unprecedented growth. They attend 36 percent more concerts and 32 more festivals over the last 12 months than they did before the COVID pandemic.

They also spend more on VIP experiences, with 52 percent of Millennials purchasing a VIP ticket in the last year, and 45 percent report they have become more willing to buy VIP experiences compared to pre-pandemic.

Millennials are also traveling more for live experiences, UTA IQ reports. Fifty-four percent of Millennials have flowing within the U.S. specifically for a concert festival and 46% say they have traveled internationally. Even more – 67 percent and 59 percent respectively – say they are interested in traveling in the future.

“Music lovers have ushered in a new golden era of concerts and festivals,” said Joe Kessler, head of UTA IQ. “In a world in which our lives are becoming increasingly virtual, fans are craving distinctive, in-person, communal experiences – and live music clearly is filling that need.”

The good news isn’t limited to Millenials: Among other observations, the study finds that 34 percent of live music fans aged 15-69 say concerts and music festivals have become more important to them post-pandemic, with 44% of Millennials feeling this way.

 Even with global inflation stoking fears that fans’ discretionary spending would result in a cutback on spending for live entertainment, UTA IQ  find that 33 percent of live attendees aged 15-69 say they “prioritize” concert and festival tickets in their budgets, as do 43 percent of Millennials.

And for some, price is no object. One in five attendees overall are willing to spend more than $500 on an individual concert ticket and, among Millennials, 31 percent are willing to do so, the study finds.

And then there’s getting to the show. Overall, two in five (39 percent) live music fans say they have flown within the U.S. to attend an event, and 58 percent of Millennial concert- or festival-goers are willing to do so. Beyond borders, 47 percent say they are interested in traveling to another country for a live event, with 30 percent having already done so.

Another data point of interest: 79 percent of live music attendees in the last 12 months say they have seen the same artist or band perform more than once, according to UTA IQ’s findings, and 44 percent of them have done so on the same tour. This behavior rises to 56 percent among Millennials.

UTA IQ’s report methodology is based on a nationally representative survey of U.S. consumers ages 15-69. Consumers who attended a concert or music festival in 2019 or in the past 12 months were classified as “live music fans” and qualified for the full survey addressing their motivations for attending, the discovery of live events, and ticket-buying habits. The data is pulled from 4,036 total respondents, including 1,500 active live music goers, according to UTA IQ.