26.07.2023: UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, has unveiled its Here, There and Everywhere report, which reveals the huge contribution of music tourism to the economy of Northern Ireland.
The new report outlines the impact of the eagerly anticipated resurgence of live music in 2022 – the first full year of post-Covid festivals, gigs and concerts in the UK, and shows the international reputation of the UK’s live music events.
The key findings for 2022 of Here, There and Everywhere for Northern Ireland include:
- Total number of music tourists attending live music events in Northern Ireland in 2022 was 270,000.
- Total number of foreign music tourists in 2022 was 20,000.
- Total number of domestic music tourists in 2022 was 250,00.
- Total music tourism spending in 2022 was £136 million.
- Total employment sustained by music tourism in 2022 was 1,280.
The report also reveals the contribution of music tourism to the whole of the UK:
- Total number of music tourists attending live music events across the UK in 2022 was 14.4 million.
- Total number of foreign music tourists in 2022 was 1.1 million.
- Total number of domestic music tourists in 2022 was 13.3 million.
- Total music tourism spending in 2022 was £6.6 billion.
- Total employment sustained by music tourism in 2022 was 56,000.
The data also revealed that:
- Total attendance at UK festivals and concerts in 2022 was 37.1 million.
- A total of 6.5 million music fans attended festivals in the UK in 2022.
- A total of 30.6 million people attended concerts (which include everything from arena shows to grassroots gigs).
UK Music estimates that the £6.6 billion supported by music tourism in the UK last year could increase significantly by 2030 – with the right support from Government, local councils and others to spread growth and job across the UK.
Music tourists were lured by events in Northern Ireland such as AVA Festival and the Belsonic concert series, which saw headline performances from Lewis Capaldi, Calvin Harris and Liam Gallagher, as well as concerts from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Snoop Dog and The Cure, and a show from Northern Ireland’s own Foy Vance at the SSE Arena Belfast.
Internationally successful bands and artists to have come from Northern Ireland include Snow Patrol, Van Morrison, Hannah Peel, The Undertones, Ash, The Divine Comedy, Nadine Coyle and D:Ream.
Grassroots and small music venues such as Belfast’s Oh Yeah Centre and Limelight have helped develop this talent, along with new acts such as Robocobra Quartet, Chalk and Lemonade Shoelace, as well as other organisations, businesses and events such as Stoney Road Studios, Stendhal Music Festival, and NI Music Prize.
A key part of the report focuses on the action that towns and cities can take to use music to help turbo-charge their local economies and support jobs.
A special toolkit outlines how local authorities and others can utilise existing funding and spaces to help music thrive.
The report includes four recommendations for local councils on how to build their own music communities:
- Use data to ensure music is at the heart of planning and licensing policy.
- Create a register of available spaces and places to support music activities.
- Enshrine music and the local community in regeneration and development.
- Set up or support city-wide music advisory boards.
The report also features case studies from across the UK that highlight good practice, including the Belfast Music Walking Tour.
UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:
“Music is one of Northern Ireland and the UK’s great assets – not only is it important to the economic success of our music sector, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps promote towns and cities across the world.
“In 2022, music pulled 270,000 tourists into local areas and supported £136 million of spending in local economies across the UK. This is testament to just how important a thriving musical ecosystem is for Northern Ireland’s towns and cities.
“But while music generates huge benefits, the infrastructure and talent pipeline that it relies on still faces major challenges. With a venue closing every week in the UK and one in six festivals not returning since Covid, it’s vital that we protect the musical infrastructure that does so much for our towns and cities.
“Post-pandemic, the role of music in transformative placemaking is more important than ever – and this report provides a valuable toolkit for local authorities to help them seize the benefits of being a “music city”.
“By harnessing the power of music, Northern Ireland can generate thousands more jobs, boost economic growth and attract even more visitors. This report shows how to turn that potential into reality.”
Founder and Creative Director of AVA, Sarah McBriar said:
“Music transcends many barriers we hold in society. It brings people from all walks of life together and animates a city – this is crucial for a city like Belfast.
“Music wakens the sleeping streets, creating festivals, and vibrant scenes located around music venues, supporting talent, which is critical to the growth of the ecosystem that leads to music tourism and ultimately the economic benefits mentioned in the report.
“When I started AVA Festival in Belfast nine years ago, before taking it to London and beyond, I knew Northern Ireland had the talent, but not the creative festival platform. Since the launch, our festival has consistently grown year-on-year, supporting artists, promoters and the industry through the conference, and returning to the economy.
“Northern Ireland has a blossoming music scene, and arguably one of the best atmospheres for artists to play at. We welcome the urgency outlined in the report for harnessing the power of music, protecting venues and incubating talent. This needs to come from top down, as the private sector cannot do this alone.”
Grammy nominated and two-time Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter/producer/artist and Senator of the Ivor’s Academy and Chair of the Ivor’s All-Ireland Council, Iain Archer, said:
“I’m delighted to see UK Music’s Here There and Everywhere report. The report is incredibly welcome in recognising the contribution our broad-ranging music communities make across the UK and internationally.
“As chair of the Ivor’s Academy All-Ireland Council, it is clear that investment and development of Northern Irish Music is essential to realise our immense potential.
“This report shows the current impact our music has, but also makes key recommendations that can build and grow our music scene and industry both locally and at a national level.”
UK Music members include AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music.
Read the report here.Back to news