Wish You Were Here 2015

UK Music publishes Wish You Were Here 2015

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Today UK Music publishes Wish You Were Here 2015 – An economic study that reveals the vast contribution of music tourism to the UK economy.

Music tourism numbers in the UK increased by 34% between 2011 and 2014, with 9.5 million people travelling to music events in 2014. These music tourists, attending live concerts and festivals in the UK, helped generate £3.1 billion pounds in direct and indirect spend.

Music festivals and concerts have been adding to British happiness and wellbeing for decades. Importantly music tourism has been driving wealth into recovering local economies across the whole of the UK. These past four years have also seen a dramatic 39% rise in overseas tourists travelling to the UK to attend our music events, each with an average spend of £751 going directly to UK businesses. This increase in music tourism provides a huge boost to employment throughout the country, with 38,238 full time jobs in 2014 sustained by music tourism in the UK. This in itself marks a 57 % increase from the 2012 figure of 24,521.

The report provides detailed evidence of the direct impact that music events and this new influx of fans have within every region of the UK, as well as practical examples of some of the many festivals, venues and companies that are helping to support this booming music tourism industry, including: Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight Festival, T-in The Park in Scotland, Green Man in Wales’ beautiful Brecon Beacons, Koko in London, Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill venue and the Sage in Gateshead.


  • £3.1 Billion generated by music tourism in the UK in 2014
  •  9.5 million music tourists attending music events in 2014
  • 546,000 overseas music tourists visiting the UK in 2014
  • 38,238 full time jobs sustained by music tourism in 2014
  • 39% increase in number of overseas music tourists between 2011-2014
  • £751 average spend by overseas music tourist in the UK

It’s fantastic news that our music industry drew in 9.5 million tourists last year but it’s no surprise. British music is legendary around the world and continues to go from strength to strength, with UK artists now accounting for one in seven albums sold worldwide.

Festivals like Glastonbury hold an iconic status on the world music scene and are one of the reasons why international tourism is booming in the UK, drawing in streams of visitors to all parts of the country. We know our UK creative industries contribute an astonishing £76.9 billion to the UK economy but this report confirms they are truly world-class and a powerful advert for the UK.

Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale

The UK’s rich music heritage and infrastructure has made the UK the go-to destination for live music globally and these statistics show how tourism is now a bedrock of British music and the wider economy. Music is putting the GREAT in Great Britain.

Jo Dipple, UK Music Chief Executive

More international music tourists are coming to the UK and more Brits are travelling further afield to gigs. The average spend by international music tourists has increased by 13% during this period, while the total exports have grown by less than 2%. If we want an export-led recovery, we need music tourists to keep coming to the UK.

Andy Heath, Chairman UK Music

For further information on this report / interview requests please contact:

James Murtagh-Hopkins
Director of Communications UK Music
0203 713 8452 // 07834 335525

Notes to Editors

The full report and methodology is available on the UK Music website.

This study was carried out by Oxford Economics on behalf of UK Music.

2015 is the second edition of the report, which was first published in 2013.


About UK Music

UK Music is the umbrella organisation which represents the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry - from artists, musicians, songwriters and composers, to record labels, music managers, music publishers, studio producers, music licensing organisations and the live music industry. The members of UK Music are: AIM, BASCA, BPI, FAC, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music and the Live Music Group.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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