UK Music have identified that 6.5 million music loving tourists attended a festival or gig, generating £2.2 billion spending in the process.
The study reveals that tourists at live music events not only add billions to the UK economy but offer astounding regional tourism benefits, motivating Britain-wide travel. Music tourism provides a massive boost to the UK’s nations, regions and local economies, including at least 24,000 jobs each year.
The Wish You Were Here report demonstrates the incredible pulling power of live music and its potential to fuel tourism throughout the country. The report was launched with VisitBritain whose ambition is to attract a total of 40 million overseas visitors by 2020, which music tourism will look to contribute more to over the coming years.
Wish You Were Here reveals:
• Direct spend by music tourists – buying tickets, paying for transport and accommodation – was worth £1.3 billion
• Further indirect music tourism spend – additional spending along the supply chain generated by music tourists - adds a further £914m, making a total spend of £2.2bn
• The average live music audience is comprised of 41% music tourists
• Music tourists from overseas spend, on average, £910 while attending festivals and £602 while attending concerts (average tourist spend is £657)
• Domestic music tourists spend, on average, £396 while attending festivals and £87 while attending concerts
• Overseas tourists account for 6% of music tourism visits but a huge 20% of music tourism spend
• London attracts 28% of all music tourists to the UK, with 1.8m visiting the capital
In addition to calling for an overarching strategy to encourage more music fans from overseas, Wish You Were Here also suggests towns and cities should promote themselves by making more of their musical heritage – as Liverpool already does with The Beatles.
UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said: “It’s clear our music industry is doing a great job for the British economy encouraging 6.5 million tourists who generated £2.2 billion last year. Music tourism created over 24,000 jobs. Just think what we might achieve with policies that specifically target the music tourist in this country and abroad? Our opportunities are limitless. Consider the record demand for Glastonbury 2014. The love of music is a powerful driver for growth.”
VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said: “This report confirms that the UK’s music scene has significant international appeal and that music tourists spend lots of money and travel across the whole of Britain. This will act as a catalyst for us all to ramp up our activity and forge better relationships with festival organisers, promoters, venues and producers to raise awareness of our amazing music scene across the world.”
Brit award winner and GREAT ambassador Jessie J added: “Music for me is the only global language. It’s such a huge thing for Britain to have strong live music, making our mark as performers across the world."
The new UK Music and VisitBritain study follows a recent and sustained spike in interest around music tourism. Over the summer many senior politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron, creative minister Ed Vaizey and shadow minister for culture Dan Jarvis, referred to the music industry’s potential for attracting overseas visitors to events such as Glastonbury and Bestival.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said, “The huge financial contribution to the UK economy by the millions of music tourists to the UK annually makes it very clear that when combined, the music and tourism industries are powerful drivers for growth. The wonderful synergy that exists between these two sectors is something Government recognises, and the reason why music is one of the major themes of the current GREAT Britain campaign - the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever.”
To dowload a full copy of the report click here