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Music Tourism Delivers £581 Million Boost To Scottish Economy As Harry Styles and Calvin Harris Help Attract 1.5 Million Fans To Festivals And Concerts

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 Scottish economy.

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26.07.2023: UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, has unveiled in its Here, There and Everywhere report, which reveals the huge contribution of music tourism to the Scottish economy.

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 across the UK, and shows the international reputation of the UK’s live music events.

Music tourists were lured by festivals in Scotland such as Celtic Connections, TRNSMT, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Mull Music Festival, as well as concerts from the likes of The Killers at Falkirk Stadium, Coldplay at Hampden Park, Glasgow and Harry Styles at Ibrox Stadium.

There was also a display of homegrown Scottish talent with Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Edwyn Collins all headlining shows as part of Glasgow’s Summer Nights concert series and Calvin Harris at Hampden Park.

The key findings for 2022 of Here, There and Everywhere for Scotland include:

  • Total number of music tourists attending live music events in Scotland in 2022 was 1.5 million.
  • Total number of foreign music tourists in 2022 was 110,000.
  • Total number of domestic music tourists in 2022 was 1.4 million.
  • Total music tourism spending in 2022 was £581 million.
  • Total employment sustained by music tourism in 2022 was 5,340.

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.

A key part of the report focuses on the action that towns and cities across the UK can take to use music to help turbo-charge their local economies and support jobs.

As well, as those mentioned already, internationally successful bands and artists to have come from Scotland include Annie Lennox, Young Fathers, KT Tunstall, Proclaimers, Lewis Capaldi, Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand and many others.

Grassroots, small and medium-sized music venues such as Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree, Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms and Sneaky Pete’s and Glasgow’s Hug and Pint and Barrowland Ballroom have helped develop this talent, along with new acts such as Berta Kennedy, Psweatpants, Redolent and Uninvited.

Other organisations, businesses and events that support the Scottish music include such as the Scottish Music Industry Association, the Scottish Album of the Year, Scottish Music Centre, Castlesound Studios, Wide Days and more.

A special toolkit outlines how local authorities and others can utilise existing funding and spaces to help music thrive across the UK.

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 Black Bay Studio on the Isle Of Lewis.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:

“Music is one of our great assets – not only is it absolutely critical to the economic success in Scotland and across the UK, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map.

“In 2022, music pulled more than 1.5 million tourists into local areas and supported £581 million of spending in local economies across Scotland. This is testament to just how important a thriving musical ecosystem is for Scotland’s towns and cities.

“But while music generates huge benefits for our local areas, the infrastructure and talent pipeline that it relies on still faces huge challenges. With a venue closing every week, 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, Scotland can generate thousands more jobs, boost economic growth and attract even more visitors to the local area. This report shows how to turn that potential into reality.”

Scottish National Party MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music Co-Chair Pete Wishart said:

“Despite our small size, Scotland truly has a remarkable live music industry. Year after year, we see artists of all levels of stardom choosing to come to Scotland to perform, not to mention the huge range of festivals we have to choose from.

“It is fantastic to see the sector thriving once again post-Covid, but it is not yet out of the woods due to the skyrocketing production costs we are currently seeing. In my constituency alone, the brilliant Otherlands Festival has just been forced to cancel this year.

“It is therefore vital that all levels of government double down on their commitments to the industry to ensure it is protected and can continue to grow for years to come.”

UK Music members include AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music.

Read the report here.

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