Changing Habits: Event-goers Spending Nearly 3x More on Their Event Trips Compared to Pre-Covid

As the global event industry begins to open up again, Event Genius and Festicket take a look at how the travel habits of event fans have changed in light of the ‘new normal’

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the global live events industry like nothing ever seen before. But as the industry begins to open up again and braces itself for a roaring 2022, Event Genius and Festicket take a look at the booking patterns of event-goers, asking which country’s fans are booking the most events abroad, where are they travelling to, as well as how much they’re spending and how. 

Summed up in an accompanying infographic, Festicket found that music fans are spending nearly three times more on their event trips than pre-Covid. The past 18 months have harvested unprecedented pent-up demand that is now ready to explode, with many music fans ready to splash out on the trip they’ve been dreaming of.

Festicket has therefore seen an incredible 172% increase in average order value for international bookings between 2019 and 2022 – which now stands at over €550 – while there’s also been a similarly large rise in the average order value for domestic bookings too. These bookings tend to take advantage of Festicket’s range of products, including tickets, accommodation, travel and extras.

Leading this surge are event-goers from the UK, with 31% of all international orders for 2022 coming from music fans in the UK. This may seem unsurprising, given the country’s own easing of restrictions. The UK is followed closely by the USA, which accounts for 28% of orders, and then France (5%), Germany (5%) and Ireland (4%), with Italy, The Netherlands and Spain seemingly slower to recover the positive sentiment. 

Although the Spanish may not be heading abroad as keenly as other countries, they are attracting a huge number of fans from elsewhere to their own shores, most notably from the UK, USA, France, Germany and Ireland. Bookings to Spanish events account for 68% of all international bookings for 2022, with Portugal (7%), USA (7%), Croatia (6%) and Hungary (3%) the next largest four.

But historically popular destinations such as The Netherlands, France and Germany are yet to see a surge in international bookings, not least due to the ongoing restrictions in these countries and a lack of events on sale for 2022. 

The return of live events has also seen a huge increase in the use of alternative payment methods, such as Festicket’s Payment Plan and Pay with Friends features. With event-goers spending more on their events, taking advantage of the opportunity to reduce immediate costs is understandable. 

A staggering 50% of international orders for 2022 events have been placed via a payment plan compared to 12% for events pre-covid in 2019. Festicket has also seen nearly a four-fold rise in the use of payment plans for domestic events too, increasing from 7% for events in 2019 to 24% for events in 2022.

Reacting to the data, Festicket and Event Genius’ Chief Operating Officer Reshad Hossenally said: “As the live event industry continues to open up we expect it to unleash a wave of pent-up demand from eager event-goers who have been starved of live events for nearly 18 months. 

“We are already seeing this play out with those events that have been brave enough to go on sale, such as the sellout Primavera Sound which we were the official payment plan provider for. 

“It’s also incredibly promising to see the willingness of fans to spend highly on future trips and that our alternative payment offerings are being well received by event-goers as well helping event organisers boost sales during these challenging times.”