West Midlands generates £7m increase in music tourism

Music tourism in the West Midlands generated £271m in 2014, a new report by UK Music has revealed.

The figure is up £7m on the previous year. 230,000 music tourists traveled to venues in the region and spent £50m on purchases including tickets, merchandise, accommodation, food and beverage.

General Manager of the NEC Group Arenas, Guy Dunstan, said: “The results from the UK Music report tally with a noticeable growth in arena enquires from promoters,” said Guy Dunstan, general manager of the NEC Group Arenas. “Birmingham is an attractive routing destination for the domestic touring market as well as international artists and their promoters, bringing with them great benefits to the West Midlands economy.

“With an ever-increasing demand for live music and a healthy number and variety events already booked for 2016/17, we’re hoping for another strong year for the NEC Group Arenas.”

The Barclaycard Arena and Genting Arena in Birmingham, two of the largest venues in the region, attracted over a million people in 2015, with performances from some of the biggest artists in the world including Lionel Ritchie, McBusted, Take That, Florence + The Machine and One Direction. The Script’s concert in February 2015 hosted the single, largest audience capacity of the year, hosting 15,443 concert goers in one night.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham, said: “The city’s diverse array of festivals including Moseley Folk and the International Jazz Festival, combined with world-class venues including the NEC, Barclaycard Arena, Genting Arena and the Symphony Hall, have created the perfect breeding ground to nurture and promote musical ingenuity.

“Birmingham received 1.1 million international tourists in 2015, largely fuelled by the strength of its arts and culture. The areas reputation as a thriving music hotspot is now growing even further, with major events like the BBC Music Awards taking place here last year – drawing in thousands of music enthusiasts and artists such as Jess Glynne, Mumford & Sons and One Direction. This report confirms just how much music tourism can boost local employment and stimulate the wider economy.”