Brexit uncertainty is causing concert ticket sales with a longer sales cycle to move more slowly, according to a new report.
The Birmingham Live Music Project, which has been produced by researchers at Aston University, Birmingham City University and Newcastle University, uncovered a number of concerns from UK industry figures, and shared them during a one-day event earlier in the year.
Uncertainty with regards to Brexit is one of the key challenges identified at a national level for live music, which is leading to a drop in consumer confidence, the report finds.
Ticket sales phases, particularly those with cycles that sometimes begin several months before show dates, are suffering due to the “ongoing uncertainty that participants felt is a contributing factor in people being less willing to spend money on future events.”
The report notes that while higher-profile acts are less exposed to this issue, it is “felt keenly” by up-and-coming and less well-known acts.
It states: “This issue is compounded by the responses of artist managers and agents, who have reacted to the broader climate of uncertainty by becoming increasingly risk-averse (and are now much more likely to ask for fixed fees over a percentage of sales).”
Another big talking point that was marked as high-priority in The Birmingham Live Music Project was the potentially high costs and operational strain of the upcoming 2020 festival season due to Brexit.
The report highlights concerns that the festival season could be affected by the prospect of disrupted supply chains, with fears that the potential costs could lead to large losses.
It reads: “Given the uncertainty around Brexit, it is hard to predict what the potential costs of running events of such scale may be in order to plan for any potential losses linked to those costs. Resolving the issue of costs is not a difficult one for the sector, since there are mechanisms in place to mitigate known costs. Yet the uncertainty around Brexit makes these costs unknown.”
Other worries included a decrease in music tourism, cultural pushback effects from Brexit, and the future of the high number of production companies in the Birmingham area, among others.