Today it is my good fortune to be able to share with you some actually nice news regarding the UK music industry. A study has found that the number of us attending live music events is at a record high, having risen by 12 percent over the last year.
In many ways, watching live music is one of the very best parts of being a music fan – there are few better feelings in the world than seeing a band or artist you love playing a song you love right in front of your eyes. And when you're sharing space with other people who love those things too, the love is palpable, the experience euphoric. So, it makes sense that more and more of us would want in on the action.
As The Guardian reports, the organisation UK Music carried out a study called Wish You Were Here over the last year. They found that attendance at live music events had risen from 2015's figure of 27.7 million, to 30.9 million. The study also revealed that 4 million people attended British music festivals in the last year. These booming numbers show that the live music market is healthier than ever (indeed, it brought £4 billion into the UK economy over the last year). And this is especially heartening considering that recent events – specifically the Paris Bataclan attack and bombing at Ariana Grande's Manchester concert back in May – could well have put concert-goers off, or given cause for concern.
However, it's also important to consider that perhaps this news is not relevant to all corners of the UK music industry, with the smaller, more independent side of things requiring some serious attention. Although the total audience at smaller, sweaty gig venues rose by about 11 percent, to some 6.2 million people, in London that total audience had actually shrunk by 13 percent last year. And, most worrying for people running those venues, the amount of money punters spent at smaller venues – those with a capacity of 1,500 or less – fell across the UK. During the election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn cited the importance of independent venues, and it's specifically with government support that this important part of the music industry will see growth to match the mainstream.
Overall though, it's encouraging news for audiences, musicians, and everyone in between. And it's also nice to be able to bring you some pretty good news, for once.
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(Image via Pixabay)