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Concert revenue boosts growth for UK theatres

According to new data by membership associate UK Theatre, income from live music grew 47% in 2013–2016, bolstering theatres in "challenging times"

By Jon Chapple on 11 Dec 2017

Colston Hall in Bristol is a UK Theatre affiliate member

Colston Hall in Bristol is a UK Theatre affiliate member


image © Philip Halling

Revenue from concerts held at Britain’s theatres grew 47% in the three years from 2013 to 2016, according to a new report by membership body UK Theatre, highlighting the increasing importance of live music to the performing arts industry.

UK Theatre’s newly released Sales Data Report 2013–2016 reveals that concerts have overtaken pantomime as the highest-performing genre across UK Theatre’s member venues. Over half a million more tickets were sold for concerts at UK Theatre venues in 2016 compared to 2013, delivering a £3.29 increase in average yield, with income from rock and pop concerts growing the fastest: 50% over the three years.

Theatres with a capacity above 1,000 were the most financially important venues for rock and pop shows, followed by concert halls and the auditoria of “principally presenting theatres” – or venues which chiefly present, rather than produce, shows – with a capacity of 500–1,000.

“This report is a vote of confidence for the industry in challenging times”

UK Theatre president Fiona Allan says the growth in concerts demonstrates that theatre managers are “responding to the evolving tastes of audiences”.

Income recorded at UK Theatre venues for all types of programming grew 18%.

“Our sector has many reasons to be cheerful,” comments Allan. “This report is a vote of confidence for the industry in challenging times. We’re continuing to attract audiences, and as an industry we’re showing remarkable resilience during a time of unprecedented financial pressure.

“These figures demonstrate the vital importance of the arts to the national economy, and show that theatre remains a popular and important part of our cultural life in the UK.”

 


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