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Music fans flock to Scotland as industry generates £431m

The Music By Numbers report revealed that 1.1 million tourists attended a live gig in 2018.

Music: TRNSMT is one of Scotland's most popular festivals. <strong>Ryan Buchanan</strong>
Music: TRNSMT is one of Scotland's most popular festivals. Ryan Buchanan

Scotland’s music industry generated £431m in spending last year.

UK Music’s inaugural Music By Numbers report revealed that 1.1 million tourists from across Britain and overseas visited Scotland in 2018 to attend a live gig.

The report, published on Wednesday, highlighted the key role music plays in Scotland’s economy and showed that the number of jobs sustained by the industry throughout 2018 was 4300.

Overall, the UK music industry contributed £5.2bn to the economy last year.

Live music raked in £1.1bn – up 10% from 2017 – while successful British acts including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith helped exports of UK music soar in 2018 to £2.7bn.

UK Music measured the health of the music business by collating data from its partners about the industry’s contribution in goods and services, known as Gross Value Added (GVA), to the UK’s national income or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Exports are part of this contribution.

The recorded music sector contributed £568m in GVA to the UK economy – a rise of 5% on £535m in 2017, and £478m in exports – an increase of 8% on £452m.

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “Our report reveals firm evidence that the British music industry is in great shape and continuing to lead the world.

“The figures are hugely encouraging and show that, as well as enriching the lives of millions of people, music makes an incredible contribution to the UK’s economy.

“Live music is now at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both the UK and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike.

“Music exports are another amazing success story with the best of British creative talent being showcased across the globe.

“However, this is not a time for complacency. We face many challenges to ensure we keep our music industry vibrant, diverse and punching above its weight.

“We need to do more to protect grassroots venues by helping them combat soaring business rates. We need to nurture the talent pipeline, including by reversing the decline of music in education, so that children from every background have access to music.

“We need to make sure that creators get fair rewards for their content and are not ripped off by big tech. And we urgently need to ensure that the impact of Brexit doesn’t put in jeopardy the free movement of talent, just at the time when we should be looking outwards and backing the best of British talent right across the world.”


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