Half of Britons priced out of attending live music events in recent years

Live Audience

Just over half of Britons have been prevented from attending a live music event in recent years due to rising ticket prices.

The finding emerged from a YouGov poll which paints a troubling picture for the UK live music scene, particularly amid the current cost of living crisis. While live music remains popular – 60 per cent of respondents had been to at least one gig in their lifetime and 14 per cent are “regular” gig goers – the poll found that 18 per cent of Brits had “frequently” been priced out of attending shows due to the cost of tickets.

Just over three-quarters of people (77 per cent) described concerts as “expensive”, with 44 per cent saying they were “very expensive”. Among gig-goers, 75 per cent had paid upwards of £50 for a concert ticket, 36 per cent had spent over £100 on one and 9 per cent over £200.

In comparison, when asked what they would consider a fair price to see a popular act at a large scale concert, 53 per cent said £40 or less.

The Music Venue Trust released a statement onto their Facebook responding to YouGov’s findings, in which that they emphasised that there are still ways of seeing live music at more affordable prices in grassroots venues.

The UK public says less than £40 is a fair price for a live music ticket. The headline says people are being ‘priced out…

Posted by Music Venue Trust on Friday, December 23, 2022

“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. They are performed by fantastically talented musicians, just as good as any you’ll see on a huge stage,” they wrote.

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.”

They added: “There’s something seriously wrong there, because it’s literally the cheapest, easiest, most accessible cultural experience there is.”

The organisation pledged to “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”.

“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.”

The YouGov poll also revealed that the general public are largely against the idea of surge pricing, with half of respondents saying they are “strongly against” the new practice of ticket sites like Ticketmaster inflating ticket prices in line with demand in a similar fashion to pricing systems for taxis or hotel rooms. Although the system is designed to combat ticket touting, only 5 per cent of the public support it. It has been widely criticised as being unfair to fans who could be left out of pocket if they want to see their favourite big-name artists live.

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