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Half of Brits priced out of live music as ticket prices continue to rise

A worrying picture for gig goers across the UK

By Nick Reilly

(Picture: Pexels)

Over half of Britons have been prevented from attending live music in the UK as ticket prices to continue rise, new research says.

The findings come courtesy of a YouGov poll which aimed to investigate if rising ticket prices were burning a hole in the wallets of gig goers across the UK.

While 60 per cent of respondents had been to at least one gig in their life and a further 14 per cent are “regular” gig goers, the research revealed that a worrying 18 per cent of Brits had “frequently” been priced out of going to shows due to the cost of tickets.

The bleak picture worsened when 77 per cent of respondents described gigs as “expensive’, with 44 per cent believing them to be “very expensive”. From the sample, 75 per cent said they had paid more than £50 for a ticket, while 36 per cent had spent over £100 for a ticket and 9 per cent had spent over £200.

Responding on Facebook, the Music Venue Trust stressed that independent venues across the UK offered an all-together cheaper night out where punters could potentially see their new favourite artist.

“There are literally hundreds of brilliant, live affirming, incredible shows happening every single day at local grassroots music venues. The average price of admission is £10.90 a ticket, but there’s almost certainly one near you this week for less than a tenner,” the MVT said.

“They are performed by fantastically talented musicians, just as good as any you’ll see on a huge stage. There won’t be flying pianos or cartwheeling robots, but these days there will be great sound and lighting, delivered by professional technicians. Bar prices are affordable, the staff are welcoming, and the audience in them wants you there as part of the community.

“And no, Harry Styles isn’t playing, but you know who is? Somebody who deserves an audience just as much, who has written as many songs, is just as passionate about the music they are making, who has something to perform for you that you might fall in love with.

“This survey says an incredibly depressing number of people didn’t attend a live music show in 2022. About a fifth of people apparently didn’t go because they thought they couldn’t afford it. So there’s something seriously wrong there, because it’s literally the cheapest, easiest, most accessible cultural experience there is.

“Let’s make sure every parent knows that. Let’s get every school teaching their pupils that. Let’s get out into our communities and make sure that every single person in them knows they have access to live music. Lets ensure our local and national press are reflecting that. Let’s see the incredible music from these fantastic spaces on our TV, talked about on our radio, part of the national discussion of who we are and what we do.

“Let’s find the one third of the public who didn’t attend a show in 2022 and make sure they know what they are missing out on. 14% of people regularly attended a gig in 2022. Let’s double that. Let’s make 2023 the best year of live music ever.

“Let’s never leave anybody in the UK believing that this headline is true ever again.”

The YouGov poll also asked respondents what they would consider a fair price to see a popular act at a large scale concert, with 53 per cent saying £40 or less.

There was also backlash against the idea of of surge pricing, with half confirming they are “strongly against” the new practice being used by ticket sites like Ticketmaster which inflates ticket prices in line with demand. It has proved hugely controversial, with many urging sites to drop the practice.