Wednesday 20 November 2019 4:34 pm

UK music industry brings £5bn to economy thanks to boom in live shows

The UK music industry contributed £5.2bn to the economy last year, boosted by sell-out live performances by hit acts such as Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa.

The live music sector contributed £1.1bn of this sum, up 10 per cent on the previous year, according to figures published today by industry body UK Music.

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The figures show the growing shift towards live performances in the music streaming age, as millions of fans flocked to local venues and stadium tours alike. The boost came despite the fact that Glastonbury Festival did not take place last year.

Exports of UK music rose to £2.7bn thanks to the global success of British artists such as Ed Sheeran.

Music tourism – where overseas or domestic fans travel to see a live event – alone contributed £4.5bn to the economy.  Overseas visitors to UK shows and festivals rose 10 per cent to 888,000.

The total contribution of £5.2bn was up more than 13 per cent from the £4.5bn recorded in 2017.

“Our report reveals firm evidence that the British music industry is in great shape and continuing to lead the world,” said UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher.

“The figures are hugely encouraging and show that, as well as enriching the lives of millions of people, music makes an incredible contribution to the UK’s economy.”

Employment in the UK music industry also rose last year to a record high of just under 191,000.

However, the trade association warned there were a number of challenges still facing the sector, including the impact of business rates on grassroots venues and a decline of music in education.

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“We need to make sure that creators get fair rewards for their content and are not ripped off by big tech,” Dugher said.

“And we urgently need to ensure that the impact of Brexit doesn’t put in jeopardy the free movement of talent, just at the time when we should be looking outwards and backing the best of British talent right across the world.”

Main image credit: Getty