Live music industry expected to return to pre-pandemic revenues by 2025

The UK’s live music sector is expected to return to its pre-coronavirus pandemic revenues by the year 2025, according to a new forecast.

Live music is set to return without restrictions in England on Monday (July 19) following the UK government’s decision to go ahead with lifting the majority of coronavirus-enforced rules in the country. Restrictions on live events will continue, however, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the meantime.

A new forecast by PwC in their ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021–2025’ report is predicting that the UK’s live music revenue will only be able to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025.

Live music revenue will grow at an annual rate of 17 per cent over the next four years in the UK, according to the report. After falling to £225million in 2020, revenue is expected to reach £846million by the end of this year.

By 2025, the UK’s live music revenue is forecast to be worth £1.56 billion – almost as much as the £1.58bn it was worth in 2019.

Blossoms performing at a trial gig in Liverpool earlier this year (Picture: Ben Bentley/ NME)

Mark Maitland, UK head of Entertainment and Media at PwC, said: “UK consumers’ rapid migration to digital behaviours in the pandemic has now become embedded in their day-to-day lives, helping to sustain overall growth across Entertainment and Media for the coming five years. As companies race to meet consumers’ evolving needs with new products, services and experiences, the E&M industry will become more pervasive, more immersive and more diverse.

“Some sectors have found interesting ways to navigate the effects of the pandemic – notable examples include B2B events moving to online/virtual and now increasingly hybrid formats. However, sectors such as live music have struggled to go virtual, as it’s so difficult to replicate the in-person experience online. So there’s pent-up demand in those sectors ready to be released as lockdown ends.”

Speaking to NME recently, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said that he and nightclub managers across the country would be working to ensure that reopening is as safe as possible to avoid “further restrictions being brought back in October”.

“My focus is to make sure that we deliver as an industry, so that we don’t have to consider that,” Kill added. “Further lockdowns will cripple the industry and we just can’t afford that. We need everyone to play their part.”

Boris Johnson has urged nightclubs and large events to employ checks for so-called ‘COVID passports’ when restrictions in England are lifted next week.