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Live gigging could unlock £2.4bn boost for UK pubs and bars

Published:  29 November, 2023

A new CGA report published today (29 November) has revealed that gigging in the hospitality sector could be the catalyst for a multi-billion pound boost to venues. 

Based on a nationwide survey of more than 500 venues, CGA’s first-ever Live Music Index found that if all venues with the potential to show live music did so, it could be worth up to £2.4bn in revenue in the hospitality sector. 

By creating a stage for musicians to perform, a single pub or bar could see its sales soar by an average of £107k a year.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the venues surveyed host live music at least once a week, helping boost sales by 33%, footfall by 36% and average spend per visit by 64%. The report outlines how bars would likely benefit from the biggest revenue uplift, with an annual expected rise of £240k.  

According to the report, the pub and bar music scene is braced for dramatic growth, with nearly nine out of 10 venues (87%) planning to increase their live music offering over the next 12 months. This is primarily to improve the atmosphere and customer satisfaction (87%), increase revenue and footfall (79%) and support local artists (48%).

Michael Forster, CEO at GigPig, a live music marketplace that commissioned the report, said: “Gigging in the hospitality sector is the bedrock of the UK’s music industry. It’s what many of us who’ve dedicated our lives to gigging have known, but it’s now clear that the hospitality sector is the cultural and economic lifeblood of the UK’s music scene.

“That’s why it’s our mission to help every venue become a stage, allow every artist to get paid to play and bring live music to every town and city in the UK. Music is the bedrock of our culture and identifying the ‘seed’ level [gigging in the hospitality sector] is a huge step to understanding how we can nurture the next generation of global superstars.”

The report makes five suggestions to help more venues and artists benefit from the UK’s pub and bar music scene. These are to capitalise on the demand for live music, support musicians, discover new talent, cut booking admin and invest in infrastructure.    

To download the full Live Music Index report, click here.