The North West of England has seen major benefits from the return of live music events after the pandemic, bringing in almost two million music tourists and £696m (€813m/$914m) in spend, according to a new report from UK Music.
The organisation is set to release the ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ report on July 18, which will include music tourism data from the UK with specific breakdowns for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland as well as English regions.
With today’s (Friday) Modern Music Cities Conference taking place in Liverpool, UK Music has revealed that the gigs and concerts in the North West or England welcomed 1.9 million music tourists to the region in 2022.
This figure includes some 120,000 foreign tourists and 1.8 million domestic tourists. The report has broken down the figure even further, with 1.6 million people attending concerts, such as Stormzy at M&S Bank Arena Liverpool, Elton John at Anfield Stadium, Dua Lipa at AO Arena in Manchester and the BBC Philharmonic at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
As well as major concerts, shows at smaller and grassroots music venues such as The Deaf Institute, Gorilla, and Night and Day in Manchester, and the Cavern Club, Camp and Furnace and Invisible wind Factory in Liverpool enticed further crowds.
Concerts carried over from pandemic-induced cancellations in 2021 also provided a boost to the region.
UK Music further revealed that 300,000 attended festivals such as Parklife, Creamfields, Liverpool International Jazz Festival, Bluedot, Kendal Calling and Beat-Header.
Music tourism supported £696m in spend across the North West, and this included ticket sales, food and beverage sales, merchandise, venue parking, camping fees, accommodation, travel and additional spending outside of venues from those visiting the UK for a live music event.
The report will highlight the economic value that music can bring to regions, with a guide for local authorities on how to maximise music’s potential. It will also look at how major events such as Eurovision can not only provide economic value, but also provide a legacy, with a case study from Jennifer Johnston, opera singer and Liverpool City Region Music Board member.
“The North West is a real powerhouse when it comes to the UK music scene and has produced some of our best performers, including The Beatles, Cilla Black, The Stone Roses, New Order, Oasis, and Mel C,” said UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
“Venues in the major cities like Liverpool and Manchester draw in legions of music fans from across the world to see some of the best talent around, including those produced by fantastic places like the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. Music has been key ingredient in the North West’s economic and cultural success – and it is critical to the region’s future too.
“By harnessing the power of music, towns and cities across the North West can generate thousands more jobs, boost economic growth and lure even more visitors to the region.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham added: “The North West is the heartbeat of music in this country. The music created by our artists from Manchester, Liverpool and the towns surrounding is loved throughout the world and it’s so pleasing to see people in their millions coming here to experience live music, in the region that does it better than anyone.
“The potential our music and live entertainment industries have in the North West is huge both in terms of boosting our economy and creating good, skilled jobs. This is exactly why I have announced my ambitions to introduce the Greater Manchester Baccalaureate (MBacc) as a new clearer education pathway into more technical roles within our city-region’s most thriving industries.”