New high of 1.1m for overseas music tourists to UK last year, report says

A total of 1.1m people came to the UK from overseas last year to attend a concert, peaking at over one million for the first time, a report has said.

Figures released by industry body UK Music suggest music tourism contributed £6.6bn to the economy.

Music tourism means someone has travelled to another city or town to see a music performance or festival.

Stars like Harry Styles attracted 1.1m overseas music tourists to gigs in 2022 – the first full post-pandemic year.

Stormzy and Dua Lipa also toured while Paul McCartney headlined Glastonbury.

UK Music, which represents the industry, says another 13 million music tourists travelled within the UK to attend gigs by artists including Ed Sheeran and Elton John, contributing to a total music tourism yearly spend of £6.6bn – which is estimated to sustain 56,000 jobs.

‘Great assets’

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin commented that the figures were “testament to just how important a thriving musical ecosystem is for our towns and cities”.

“Music is one of our country’s great assets – not only is it absolutely critical to the economic success of our local areas, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map,” he said in a statement.

He warned that despite the apparent success suggested by the numbers, the sector still faced huge challenges.

“With a venue closing every week, one in six festivals not returning since the pandemic, and many studios facing huge economic pressures, it’s vital that we protect the musical infrastructure that does so much for our towns and cities.”

This year’s figures around music tourism are likely to be high once again, given the many fans that made their way to Liverpool, the host city for 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, in May.

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