Music tourism numbers in the UK increased by 34 per cent between 2011 and 2014, with 9.5 million people travelling to music events in 2014. These music tourists, attending live concerts and festivals in the UK, helped generate £3.1 billion pounds in direct and indirect spend.
According to a new report from UK Music called Wish You Were Here 2014, music tourism has been driving wealth into recovering local economies across the whole of the UK. These past four years have also seen a dramatic 39 per cent rise in overseas tourists travelling to the UK to attend our music events, each with an average spend of £751 going directly to UK businesses. This increase in music tourism provides a huge boost to employment throughout the country, with38,238 full time jobs in 2014 sustained by music tourism in the UK.
The report provides detailed evidence of the direct impact that music events and this new influx of fans have within every region of the UK, as well as practical examples of some of the many festivals, venues and companies that are helping to support this booming music tourism industry, including: Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight Festival, T-in The Park in Scotland, Green Man in Wales’ beautiful Brecon Beacons, Koko in London, Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill venue and the Sage in Gateshead.
Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale said: “It’s fantastic news that our music industry drew in 9.5 million tourists last year but it’s no surprise. British music is legendary around the world and continues to go from strength to strength, with UK artists now accounting for one in seven albums sold worldwide. Festivals like Glastonbury hold an iconic status on the world music scene and are one of the reasons why international tourism is booming in the UK, drawing in streams of visitors to all parts of the country. We know our UK creative industries contribute an astonishing £76.9 billion to the UK economy but this report confirms they are truly world-class and a powerful advert for the UK.”
Added Andy Heath, chairman UK Music: “More international music tourists are coming to the UK and more Brits are travelling further afield to gigs. The average spend by international music tourists has increased by 13 per cent during this period, while the total exports have grown by less than two per cent. If we want an export-led recovery, we need music tourists to keep coming to the UK.”