UK: UK Music – a campaigning and lobbying group for the recorded and live music industries – had published Wish You Were Here 2015 – an economic study that reveals the vast contribution of music tourism to the UK economy.
According to the report, which can be downloaded here, music tourism numbers in the UK increased by 34% between 2011 and 2014, with 9.5 million people travelling to music events in 2014. These music tourists, attending live concerts and festivals in the UK, helped generate £3.1 billion pounds in direct and indirect spend.
These past four years have also seen a dramatic 39% rise in overseas tourists travelling to the UK to attend our music events, each with an average spend of £751 going directly to UK businesses. This increase in music tourism provides a huge boost to employment throughout the country, with 38,238 full time jobs in 2014 sustained by music tourism in the UK. This in itself marks a 57% increase from the 2012 figure of 24,521.
The report provides detailed evidence of the direct impact that music events and this new influx of fans have within every region of the UK, as well as practical examples of some of the many festivals, venues and companies that are helping to support this booming music tourism industry, including: Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight Festival, T in The Park in Scotland, Green Man in Wales’ beautiful Brecon Beacons, Koko in London, Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill venue and the Sage in Gateshead.
UK MUSIC TOURISM BY NUMBERS / 2014
– £3.1 Billion generated by music tourism in the UK in 2014
– 9.5 million music tourists attending music events in 2014
– 546,000 overseas music tourists visiting the UK in 2014
– 38,238 full time jobs sustained by music tourism in 2014
– 39% increase in number of overseas music tourists between 2011-2014
– £751 average spend by overseas music tourist in the UK
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said: “It’s fantastic news that our music industry drew in 9.5 million tourists last year but it’s no surprise. British music is legendary around the world and continues to go from strength to strength, with UK artists now accounting for one in seven albums sold worldwide. Festivals like Glastonbury hold an iconic status on the world music scene and are one of the reasons why international tourism is booming in the UK, drawing in streams of visitors to all parts of the country. We know our UK creative industries contribute an astonishing £76.9 billion to the UK economy but this report confirms they are truly world-class and a powerful advert for the UK.”
Jo Dipple, UK Music Chief Executive said: “The UK’s rich music heritage and infrastructure has made the UK the go-to destination for live music globally and these statistics show how tourism is now a bedrock of British music and the wider economy. Music is putting the GREAT in Great Britain.”
Andy Heath, Chairman UK Music said: “More international music tourists are coming to the UK and more Brits are travelling further afield to gigs. The average spend by international music tourists has increased by 13% during this period, while the total exports have grown by less than 2%. If we want an export-led recovery, we need music tourists to keep coming to the UK.”
Header photo credit: Dan Dennison; courtesy of Bestival