What you need to know

The UK live music industry has continued to grow during the past five years, despite the tough prevailing economic environment. Despite steadily rising prices, consumers have demonstrated that they are still prepared to pay ‘top dollar’ to see the most popular acts, while festivals continue to draw the crowds, although perhaps not all are enjoying the same sort of attendances they did before the financial crash of 2008.

Live Nation has maintained its position as the dominant player in the market, with an extensive network of subsidiaries and cross-shareholdings covering all sectors of the market, particularly the festivals sector. Although other companies such as AEG and Deutsche Entertainment have sought to make inroads into Live Nation’s market share, to date they have barely dented it, although AEG has secured a strong position in the London market, which it can use as a platform for further expansion.

Many consumers remain unhappy about issues with ticketing, particularly in relation to the resale of tickets by secondary resellers, although a good number have used their services in the past year as there are very few realistic alternatives if consumers want to locate a sought-after ticket. Promised governmental moves to improve transparency in the secondary market seem likely to improve the situation but there has also been a raft of new products and services launched in the past year aiming to cut out profiteering on the resale of tickets through by-passing resellers and also trying to eliminate booking fees.

Covered in this report

The concerts and festivals examined in this report include live musical performances at concert venues in the UK for which customers pay an entrance price. Festivals are defined as musical events held on consecutive days in which various musical artists perform a live set. It does not include the many festivals organised mainly by local councils that hold a variety of arts-based events usually over the course of a month, or concerts where admission is free. The report also excludes ballet, opera, musicals and plays, which are covered in the Performing Arts – UK, December 2014 report.

Back to top