The UK’s live music sector grew to a record high of £1.1bn in 2018, a 10 per cent rise on 2017, significantly driving the industry’s overall contribution to the economy, according to the Music by Numbers report from UK Music.

The UK music industry contributed £5.2bn to the UK economy in 2018, while the total export revenue of the music industry was £2.7bn. Employment in the sector hit 190,935

Despite Glastonbury having a fallow year in 2018, festivals saw a surge in ticket sales across the country, with the total audience in 2018 soaring by 23 per cent to 4.9 million – up from four million in 2017.

According to research from Ticketmaster 45 per cent of festival-goers attend a festival for atmosphere, while 42 per cent go for the line-up. Festivals also have a key role in developing artists’ fanbases, with 54 per cent of festival-goers saying they seek out gigs for an artist they discover at a festival.

UK Music, which includes the UK Live Music Group, measures the health of Britain’s music business each year by collating data on its contribution in goods and services – known as gross value added (GVA) – to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP), including export revenue.

The report found that total concert attendance in 2018 remained level at 24.9 million, with the top three arenas in the UK being The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, the Manchester Arena and the 02 Arena.

Scotland reported the biggest rise in music tourists, up 38 per cent year-on-year to 1.1 million, helped by new festivals such as Summer Sessions, while London remains the biggest pull for music tourists, with 2.8 million fans flocking to a wide range of live music.

“Live music is now at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both the UK and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike,” said Michael Dugher, the chief executive of UK Music.

Image: Roger Canals