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Live entertainment revenue tops €1.7bn in Ireland

Live entertainment in Ireland generated at least €1.7 billion in extra revenue from March 2015–2016, according to a new study backed by a cross-section of the island’s music industry.

Let’s Celebrate 2017, published today by music PR firm Wide Awake Communications, reveals that for every €1 spent on a ticket in that 12-month period, live events – defined as live music, arts, theatrical, comedy and family events, attractions and exhibitions – generated €6.06 in additional revenue.

Its findings are based on research by London-based BOP Consulting, which analysed ticket sales data from Ticketmaster Ireland and the results of a survey of more than 5,700 event attendees.

The report, which Wide Awake founder Justin Green says was commissioned because of his “belief that the entertainment industry is frequently overlooked and not always respected as the viable and tangible professional industry that it is”, is backed by collection society IMRO, tourist board Fáilte Ireland and several venues, including Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Croke Park, and contains contributions from former U2 manager (and ILMC 29 Breakfast Meeting interviewee) Paul McGuinness, promoters Caroline Downey, Peter Aiken and Denis Desmond and artists including Louis Walsh, Robbie Williams and Michael Bublé.

For every €1 spent on a ticket in 2015–16, live entertainment generated €6.06 in additional revenue

It includes figures from the entire island of Ireland (both Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the larger, independent Republic of Ireland). Additional revenue – defined as spending on top of the cost of tickets – for the Republic alone was €1.3bn.

A total of 3.42m people attended live entertainment events in the period surveyed, of which the largest proportion – 2.27m – was for concerts and music festivals.

For music specifically, the additional revenue was €900m in the Republic and €326m in Ulster, for a total of €1.27bn.

The live entertainment sector additionally supported 11,331 jobs (of which 8,546 were in the live music industry), while some 400,000 people came from overseas to attend a live event on the island.

“Music is part of our cultural DNA. But it is also of huge economic importance, in a way that has too seldom been recognised at official level”

BOP Consulting’s Richard Naylor and Jonathan Todd say Let’s Celebrate 2017 has “demonstrated that live entertainment is of great economic and cultural importance to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland”.

“Music is in [Ireland’s] blood. It is part of our cultural DNA. But it is also of huge economic importance, in a way that has too seldom been recognised at official level,” adds Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, in his foreword to the report. “After all, music, theatre, comedy and festivals are among the key attractions for visitors to this country.

I trust, therefore, that this important study will clarify, in a way that brooks no further argument, that the music and entertainment industry truly is a vital part of what makes this country unique and attractive as a place to live and to visit – and that it, and the Irish artists who are so important to its health and well-being, should be encouraged and supported and celebrated at every opportunity, for the joy and the inspiration that they deliver so widely and so well, to so many.”


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