Music Tourism: Wish You Were Here 2017

10/07/2017: UK Music today publishes Wish You Were Here 2017 – an economic study that shows the vast contribution of live music and music tourism to the UK economy during 2016.

The number of people at live music events in the UK rose by 12% in 2016 to 30.9 million – up from 27.7 million in 2015.

Live music fans generated £4 billion in direct and indirect spending in 2016 by flocking to concerts and festivals across the UK – a rise of 11% on the £3.7 billion they spent in 2015.

The total number of music tourists from the UK and abroad increased by 20% in 2016 to 12.5 million, of which 11.6 million were UK citizens visiting live music events in other parts of the UK.

Collating a vast amount of ticketing and other data from hundreds of venues, UK Music annually compiles this unrivalled insight into live music in every region of the UK and its impact on the local economy.

Since 2011, the live music industry in the UK has seen a dramatic 76% rise in music tourists travelling to enjoy music events in the UK.

In 2016, the numbers of overseas music visitors to live music events in the UK rose 7% to 823,000 with each spending an average of £850.

The increase in music tourism in 2016 provided a huge boost to employment throughout the country, with 47,445 full time jobs in 2016 sustained by music tourism in the UK - a 22% increase on the 2015 figure of 39,034.

However, the figures also revealed a 13% drop in the level of direct spending at smaller music venues       - those with capacity of under 1,500 - in 2016 and a 21% fall in the number of overseas visitors to smaller venues.

Among the festivals that contributed to that success story in 2016 were Glastonbury, Latitude, Green Man in Wales’ Brecon Beacons and Lovebox in London.

Live music fans packed out venues ranging from The Leadmill in Sheffield, Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh and the Lexington in London to large arenas like Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and the O2 Arena in London.

- 30.9 million - total audience that attended live music events in the UK
- 3.9 million - total festival attendance in the UK
- 27 million - total concert attendance in the UK
- 18.4 million local residents attended local music events in the UK

- £4 billion total spend generated by music tourism in the UK
Direct spend £2.5 billion
Indirect spend £1.5 billion

- 12.5 million music tourists in 2016
Domestic 11.6 million
Overseas 823,000

- £656 million box office spend on tickets by music tourists in 2016
Domestic £610 million
Overseas £45 million

- 40% of live music audiences are music tourists
- 47,445 full time jobs sustained by music tourism
- £850 average spend by overseas music tourists in the UK
- £150 average spend by domestic music tourists in the UK

- 6.2 million total audience at small music venues
- 1.67 million tourist visits to small venues
Domestic 1.56 million
Overseas 107,000

- £367 million total spend generated by music tourists visiting small venues
Direct £202 million
Indirect £166 million

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:
“UK Music's Wish You Were Here report clearly shows music and the creative industries are not only central to our cultural DNA but also hugely important for creating jobs and growth across the country.
"It's fantastic to see a record number of visitors to live events in the UK and the huge popularity of our artists overseas. Our musicians are cultural ambassadors for Britain and help us show the world that we are an optimistic and open country.”

UK Music Chief Executive Michael Dugher said:
“A record 30.9 million people went to live music events in the UK last year and generated £4 billion for the UK economy.
“Music fans poured into a huge range of festivals like Glastonbury, Latitude in Suffolk, The Great Escape in Brighton and Green Man in the Brecon Beacons. They also enjoyed seeing the best British new talent in smaller venues which are a vital part of the live music industry.
“We have seen the incredible power of music to heal when the country were united by the One Love Manchester benefit gig following the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert.
“Live music in the UK is a tremendous success story and makes a massive contribution to our culture and general wellbeing, as well as our economy. It showcases our talent to the world and brings pleasure to millions every day.
“But this success is being put at risk. That's why UK Music will continue to campaign to safeguard smaller music venues, many of which are fighting for survival. And, we will be pressing the Government to make sure the impact of Brexit does not damage our export trade or make it harder for UK artists to tour abroad and for overseas acts to come here.”


  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo
  • Sponsor Logo

Copyright © 2013 UK Music, 4th Floor, 49 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2BX
Tel: Tel: +44 (0)20 3713 8444 Fax: Fax: +44 (0) 20 7306 4449 Email: Twitter: @UK_Music