Wow: Festivals Are Pumping $2.3 Billion Annually Into the British Economy

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Festivals are becoming huge moneymakers, and that’s great news for host cities (among others).

But how much is all of this worth? Just this week, UK Music measured the impact of festivals and major music concerts, the first study of its kind.

So what did they find?  Try a contribution of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) last year from a music-loving mob of 7.7 million travelers.  “The message is crystal clear,” said Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of UK Music.  “Music provides a huge boost to UK tourism, it drives growth, it sustains thousands of jobs across all regions and it enhances our lives.” That is, 19,700 full-time jobs according to the study.

Most of the tourism is coming from within the country, with just 5 percent coming from abroad.  But foreigners come with a premium: UK Music found this group responsible for 18 percent of the total spend.  “The rest of the world clearly recognizes the importance of music to the UK,” Sharkey continued.  “It is time we did similar.”