A new report from UK Music reveals that the UK live event industry is thriving with audiences for concerts and festivals at 30.9 million in 2016, up from 27.7 million the previous year.

“For the first time, the total spending generated by concerts, festivals, and other live events hit almost £4bn as music tourism shot up 11% on the previous year,” says Paul Latham, COO of Live Nation, UK & Ireland.

The growth in live events has been getting glowing reviews from both industry leaders and politicians.

“Music and the creative industries are central to our post-Brexit future,” says Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport. “Live events in the UK draw visitors from across the globe to spend their money here.”

Here’s some key findings from the UK Music study, Wish You Were Here 2017:

  • £2.5 billion spent directly by music tourists in 2016
  • £365 million generated by music tourists visiting small venues in the UK in 2016
  • 8,615 full time jobs sustained by music tourism in London, England
  • 2 million music tourists visited Scotland in 2016
  • The number of music tourists to the UK has increased from 7.1 million in 2011 to 12.5 million in 2016

“Overall, the hard evidence shows that live music is creating more jobs and revenue and attracting more tourists right across the UK,” says UK Music CEO, Michael Dugher.

While most of the data from the report is positive, it also highlights some challenges particularly with smaller venues.

“We need to be wary that many of our smaller music venues including grassroots are shutting down or struggling for survival,” says Latham. “All our greatest acts started out in smaller venues and these places are a vital part of the ecosystem of our industry. If we lose them, we risk losing the UK stars of the future.”

To read the full report, click here.