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It’s official: Going to concerts makes you happy

Regularly seeing music live can have a positive effect on mood and increase happiness, researchers in Australia have discovered.

Surveying a random sample of 1,000 Australians, Melissa K. Weinberg and Dawn Joseph of Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, found that the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) – defined as participants’ level of satisfaction with their standard of living, health, achievements in life, relationships, safety, community, connection, and future security – of those who attend live music events or go out dancing were “significantly higher” than those who “did not engage with music in those forms”.

“Engaging with music by dancing or attending musical events was associated with higher subjective wellbeing than for those who did not engage with music in these forms”

According to Weinberg and Joseph, the social component of gig-going is particularly important, with “people who sang or danced in the company of others reporting higher scores on many domains of SWB [subjective wellbeing] than those who engaged with music alone”.

While the researchers found definitively that those who go to concerts were, on average, happier, there is a caveat: Those who are able to regularly see live music are also likely to be better off financially. “In Australia, attending musical events is costly,” says their study, which can be read in full here, “and may be a privilege afforded to those who earn a higher income.”


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Huge increase in disabled concertgoers in 2015

The number of disabled and deaf fans attending concerts and festivals in the UK rose 26% in 2015.

Compiling sales from British festivals and venues signed up to its Charter of Best Practice, Attitude is Everything found that almost 144,000 disabled tickets were sold last year, compared to 114,000 in 2014.

The charity, which advocates for disabled music fans, estimates the direct economic impact of those sales (including spending on food and drink, and spending by personal assistants) to be £7.5 million.

Ground Control’s Jon Draper, an Attitude is Everything patron, says he saw dramatic increases in disabled ticket sales at Festival №6 (up 107%), the Parklife weekender (up 55%) and Kendal Calling (up 30%) in 2015.

“Ground Control is extremely proud of our long association with Attitude is Everything and the fact that Parklife, Kendal Calling and Festival №6 have all reached Silver Status on the Charter of Best Practice,” he says. “Suzanne [Bull, CEO] and her team take a very pragmatic approach to their work, enabling us to tailor access facilities around each individual event and make improvements and innovations each year.

89 Charter venues and festivals increased their combined disabled audience by 19,000 (13%) in 2015, generating an extra £1.5m

“The success of this approach is born out by today’s figures, which also highlight the growing demand for deaf and disabled fans to attend live music events.”

As a whole, the 89 venues and festivals signed up to the Charter of Best Practice increased their combined disabled audience by 19,000 (13%) in 2015, generating an extra £1.5m.

Bull adds: “The Charter of Best Practice is at the core of Attitude is Everything’s activities. Each year we accredit a wide range of venues and festivals, from the biggest in the country to the smallest, and see them make a commitment to improving their access provision. Meanwhile, existing sign-ups improve what they do and move up to silver or gold status.

“As well as encouraging innovation and best practice, this practical and straightforward process sends out an important message of inclusivity to deaf and disabled fans across the UK, who are attending live music events in ever increasing numbers. With 14 new sign-ups in 2015, ticket sales across 103 of our Charter venues and festivals contributed more than £7.5m to the UK’s music economy. Which, for those live businesses not partnering with us, begs one simple question: what are you waiting for?”


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