Today (Friday 17th October) UK Music’s Tom Kiehl addressed the AIF Festival Congress in Cardiff.
The Director of Government and Public Affairs spoke to an audience of independent promoters, agents and managers at the first summit organised by the Association of Independent Festivals in order to highlight the economic contribution and cultural importance of the live sector.
UK Music’s Wish You Were Here research demonstrates music tourism generates spending of £2.2bn, and that 6.5 million music tourists visit concerts, gigs and festivals.
Speaking to delegates, Tom Kiehl highlighted the importance of music tourism to festivals. Wish You Were Here found that although festivals account for 17% of those at live events, 59% of the people attending festivals are music tourists. Kiehl noted that this means that the live sector must continue to innovate and inspire with their offering to keep enticing both domestic and international tourists. With music tourists spending £685 million a year, clearly festivals bring strong economic benefits to local economies.
Speaking to delegates Kiehl said, “Independent festivals make a huge contribution to the festival scene in the UK. They are exciting and fresh and uniquely British. They continue to evolve and satisfy their customers, which is clear from the results of the UK Music research; their role in the live sector and their ability to attract tourists will mean that the UK will remain musically exciting and economically competitive. ”
UK Music published Wish You Were Here in October 2013. This covered 2011 and 2012 and is the leading report into the live sector, with unprecedented data collection from ticketing agents.
Produced with Oxford Economics the report measures the impact of music tourists to the UK. Music tourists are defined as either from overseas or travelling three times the average regional commuting distance for gigs, festivals, concerts.
Supporting Wish You Were Here, Visit Britain said the report “points to the huge potential of music tourism to boost domestic and overseas visitor numbers throughout the country. This report should act as a catalyst to ramp up our activity.”
Claire O’Neill, Senior Manager, Association of Independent Festivals said; “The UK has the most dynamic, successful and exciting independent festivals in the world. The live sector, year after year, gives music fans memories they never forget.
The AIF greatly supports UK Music’s work on the impact of the live sector from a cultural and tourist point of view. Their reports put our impact into pounds and jobs. We know we create a lot of happy customers with our events, but we also make the UK a lot of money and create thousands of jobs.”
In 2015 UK Music will be published a new version of Wish You Here, on behalf of the UK Live Music Group. This will see the publication of 4 years of unique data.