UTA Report Says the Live Music Resurgence Is Poised to Continue, as Millennials & Gen Z Focus On Experiences

live music resurgence will continue
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live music resurgence will continue
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Photo Credit: Samuel Regan-Asante

Millennials and Gen Z are driving the live music resurgence as the post-pandemic music boom is poised to continue, according to reports.

A UTA report, “Standing Room Only: Live Music’s Epic Resurgence” paints a rosy picture for the return of live music. The research was conducted in part with Variety and further illustrates how millennials are driving the experiences over ownership mindset as they become the biggest buying segment of the population (outpacing baby boomers).

There are around 72.1 million millennials in the United States, defined as people born from 1981-1996. Older millennials (like myself) are the children of baby boomers, while younger millennials tend to have Gen X (1965-1979) parents. A key difference between millennials and baby boomers is that the younger generations tend to value experiences over ownership.

Studies have found that millennials (and Gen Z) don’t equate money with happiness. They grew up with baby boomer parents who were motivated by money and ownership and saw that purchasing material goods did not bring happiness for their families in the way they expected. The result is that millennial music fans are driving the live music experience more than ever as they value experiences more than previous generational cohorts.

One-third of live music fans who are millennials went to more concerts (36%) and festivals (32%) over the past 12 months compared to pre-pandemic. More than half (52%) of millennials surveyed in the UTA study purchased a VIP ticket to a live music event in the last 12 months. 45% say they would be more willing to purchase a VIP ticket for live music experiences, compared to pre-pandemic.

Another big takeaway is that millennials are not afraid of traveling to see their favorite shows, either. 54% of respondents said they flew domestically to attend a concert or a festival, while 46% said they flew internationally. 67% of millennial respondents said they would consider flying domestically, while 59% said they would consider an international flight to a live music event.

“Music lovers have ushered in a new golden era of concerts and festivals,” adds Joe Kessler, Head of UTA IQ, the agency’s research, analytics, and insight division. “In a world in which our lives are becoming increasingly virtual, fans are craving distinctive, in-person, communal experiences—and live music clearly is filling that need.”

One in three people that UTA surveyed between ages 15-69 said concerts and music festivals are more important to them post-pandemic. That number jumps to 44% along the millennial demographic, with that segment of the population also reporting prioritizing concert and festival tickets as part of their disposable income spending.

Only one in five (19%) of the full population said they were willing to spend over $500 on an individual concert ticket. 31% of millennials said they would spend that price, highlighting the value this cohort places on live music. The report is based on nationally representative survey of U.S. consumers ages 15-69. Consumers who attended a concert or music festival in 2019 or in the past year were classified as ‘live music fans.’ Data represented here is pulled from 4,036 respondents, with 1,500 active live music goers.