Live Music & Theatre Research (June 2020)

Delighted to have been able to assist Chris Carey ( noted data scientist, conference organizer, cricket-obsessive and Head of Marketing at TicketSwap (, in the recent ‘Valuation of the UK Live Entertainment Industries’ research project.

At short notice, we were requested to produce a model of the UK live music and theatre sectors detailing Gross Value Added, Revenues & Employment etc. impacting the UK national economy.

The key findings were then used within the recent #LetTheMusicPlay campaign and also supported the wider live entertainment submission to the DCMS in the campaign for financial support from the UK Government:

  • Live Entertainment and Theatre generates £11.25 Billion in Gross Added Value (GVA) in each year
  • Theatre contributes £4.8 Billion GVA, supporting 290,000 jobs
  • Music contributes £4.5 Billion GVA with £2.74 Billion GVA from Concerts and £1.76 Billion GVA from Festivals
  • Music supports 210,000 FTE jobs with 125,000 through Concerts and 85,000 through Festivals
  • Other Entertainment contributes £1.95 Billion GVA contributing another 100,000 jobs


Under the time constraint it was not possible to commission new lengthy assessments, so instead the approach was to take existing published insights combined with sector expertise and private data from various industry sources to best represent the sectors on a consistent basis. 

We attempted to harmonize definitions, avoid any double-counting of revenues by the differing sector service providers (for example, collection agencies and ticketing), whilst modelling additional contributions from organisations representing artists, concert promoters, festivals, and grassroots music venues to produce a coherent structure for sector definition.

We also developed a methodology for defining ancillary services and incremental spend around events, to provide a clear understanding of the total live entertainment activities and economic impact.

The figures for live music were largely built by aggregating various sector reports including UK Music’s ( long-established ’Music By Numbers’ analysis, the National Arenas Association (NAA) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) annual reports, with other contributions including work by the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH) and the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

For the theatre sector we utilised the invaluable Society of London Theatre / UK Theatre annual reports, as well as data received from the Really Useful Group which utilised pre-existing Arts Council methodology.

We are grateful to all organisations and individuals for their support of this cross industry effort, but especially ILMC ( / IQ Magazine (, Really Useful Group, and UK Music.

Further enquiries regarding the research are directed to: