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U.K. LIVE MUSIC BIZ UP 10% IN 2018

The British live music industry grew by 10% in 2018 to contribute £1.1b Gross Value Added to the U.K. economy, according to a report by trade body UK Music. Growth is in part attributed to a 23% rise in festival attendance, despite it being Glastonbury’s fallow year.

The recorded music sector contributed £568m GVA in 2018. Label revenues rose 3%, reflecting a third year of consecutive growth.

According to the report, money generated by the U.K’s live music sector last year rose by £109k. Festival attendance was down 4.9m people, which includes a 10% increase in overseas visitors to 888k from 810k in 2017. Festivals in Scotland, including TRNSMT and Sunday Sessions, particularly boosted the numbers with music tourists in the country rising by 38% (1.1m). Total concert attendance stayed the same at 24.9m.

Overall, the music industry contributed £5.2b GVA to the British economy last year. That's up from £4.5b in 2017 with one caveat—the report has been produced with revised methodology this year, and includes retail for the first time, which makes some direct comparisons to previous data unreliable.

“Our report reveals firm evidence that the British music industry is in great shape and continuing to lead the world,” UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said. “The figures are hugely encouraging and show that, as well as enriching the lives of millions of people, music makes an incredible contribution to the U.K.’s economy.”

The recorded music sector’s £568m GVA was up 5% from £535m in 2017, and the £478m in exports was an increase of 8% on £452m.

Other key headline stats include employment hitting 190k and total export revenue reaching £2.7b. Music tourism alone contributed £4.5b, which is up from £4b in 2017.

Dugher issued a caveat on the stats. “This is not a time for complacency. We face many challenges to ensure we keep our music industry vibrant, diverse and punching above its weight. We need to do more to protect grassroots venues by helping them combat soaring business rates. We need to nurture the talent pipeline, including by reversing the decline of music in education, so that children from every background have access to music.

“We need to make sure that creators get fair rewards for their content and are not ripped off by big tech. And we urgently need to ensure that the impact of Brexit doesn’t put in jeopardy the free movement of talent, just at the time when we should be looking outwards and backing the best of British talent right across the world.”

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