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Revealed: Music helped Britain survive lockdown as public throw support behind return of live music - new survey shows

UK Music, the collective voice of the music industry, today (Wednesday 14 July) publishes a major new survey that reveals the crucial role music played in helping people through Covid-19 lockdowns - and how the public are craving the return of live music. 

In the largest survey of its kind since Covid-19 forced the closure of large parts of the music industry in March 2020, the key findings of the wide-ranging poll revealed:  

  • 57% of adults said music had helped them cope with lockdown
  • Around one million adults say they have taken up an instrument during lockdown 
  • 71% think music makes them more productive at work/studying


UK Music commissioned pollsters Public First for the representative survey of the British public to find out their feelings about the importance of music during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The survey shows how music became even more important to millions of people during periods of lockdown and helped them during Covid-enforced isolation. 

The findings also reveal how the public are keen to flock back to live music and believe music makes them more productive at work and helps them cope with stress and anxiety. 


The Impact of Music on Mental Health During Lockdowns:

  • 57% of adults say that music helped them cope during lockdown - compared to just 14% who disagreed
  • 59% of those quizzed say music aided their health and wellbeing - against only 11% who disagreed
  • 31% say they turned to music when feeling anxious and 56% listen to music to improve their mood or when they are feeling low
  • 42% say they listened to more music during lockdown
  • Around one million adults say they have taken up an instrument during lockdown 
  • 74% say music is important to their quality of life - with 39% saying that importance has increased during the past year
  • 26% say listening to music is their favourite hobby - second only to watching TV (42%) - and well ahead of watching films (18%) and playing video games (15%) 
  • 71% think music makes them more productive at work/studying


The Importance of Live Music & Venues To The Nation:

  • Despite Covid-19, 43% of the public are interested in going to a live concert, gig or festival this year
  • Two-thirds (66%) said they planned to attend as many or even more gigs than before Covid-19 hit 
  • Among 18-24 year-olds, 38% say going to a music festival or gig is one of the things they are most looking forward to
  • Almost half the public (45%) are worried about the financial viability of their local music venues due to the impact of Covid-19

The findings are a huge boost to the UK music industry, which has been devastated by the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy pre-Covid-19 and supports around 200,000 jobs. 


UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: 
“These results demonstrate just how important music is to our nation and the critical role it has played over the course of this pandemic. 

“Music has been vital not only in helping the public cope with the impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns and improving mental health and wellbeing, but also in making people more productive while they work. 

“Combined with the huge economic contribution the music industry made pre-Covid-19, this is further evidence that the UK music industry is a key national asset that should be protected and supported by Government.

“With the right support, music can continue to play a vital role in improving people’s health and wellbeing in the months ahead as we look to recover from this pandemic. 

“We are working with Government, charities and organisations across the health and music sectors to look at innovative ways we can use music as a force for good in as many lives as possible.

“People are clearly missing going to festivals, gigs and concerts and eagerly awaiting the return of live music without social distancing. While the announcement of an end to restrictions from July 19 was very welcome, there remains one crucial last piece to the puzzle: action on insurance.

“Suggestions that restrictions may be reintroduced later this year creates huge risk for event organisers and the inability to obtain commercial insurance means many live events have already been called off this year. 

“Many more are still at risk of cancellation, so we need the Government to introduce an insurance scheme that enables organisers to plan events with confidence into the autumn and beyond. 

“The music industry should play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural recovery, and there is huge appetite from the public for festivals and live events – but without a Government-backed insurance scheme there is a very real risk that events will continue to be cancelled.”

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