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  • One in six people in the UK have attended a dance event[1] since 2012
  • More than just the music: atmosphere and social element of the event are key
  • Fabric named dance fans’[2] favourite venue
  • Fifty-two percent use social media to get information on events, 89% of which have found out about events via Facebook

Ticketmaster today reveal that the appetite for dance events in the UK is high — with 16% of the British public having attended a dance music event in the last three years. 

The findings form just part of Ticketmaster’s State of Play: Dance Music report, a comprehensive study about the live UK dance music industry, which analysed data on consumer motivations, preferences, spend, sources of discovery and demographics, amongst other categories.

The report also reveals that London stalwart Fabric is dance music fans’ favourite venue; dance attendees get the majority of their information on events from social media, particularly Facebook; and that the overall experience — including the atmosphere, crowd and audio-visual production — at a dance event is a key motivation when deciding what events to attend.

The State of Play: Dance Music report, produced by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics division in partnership with music and entertainment consultancy FRUKT and endorsed by AFEM: Association for Electronic Music, surveyed 4,934 members of the British public, including 1,017 dance attendees and combined findings with ticket sales to produce a wide-ranging set of insights into an industry experiencing growth.

Attendance and demographic profiles

In the three years since 2012, one in six (16%) members of the British public has been to a dance event, with one in seven of these dance attendees having been to all three types of dance events — namely a dance music festival, an event taking place in a venue such as a club/warehouse or clubbing in Ibiza.

The majority of dance attendees come from London and the South East — together they make up 37% of dance attendees (this region accounts for 27% of the wider UK population).

Over a quarter (28%) of dance attendees only went to events in clubs or venues, but they were the most likely to be frequent attendees, with 16% going to five or more events in the last year.

The overall likelihood to attend dance events peaks in younger age groups — with 42% of 16-24 year olds in the UK having been to a dance event in the last three years. 

20-24 year olds are the most likely to attend a dance music festival or an event in a club/venue, while 25-29 year olds are the key age group for Ibiza attendance. 

Barriers to and motivations for attendance

Respondents who had not attended a dance event since 2012 said that the biggest barrier — outside of a disinterest in the music or feeling too old — was big crowds, identified by 12% of respondents[3]. One in ten identified cost and 6% location, suggesting smaller, more intimate events in accessible locations could hold appeal to non-attendees.

The two strongest motivations which pull in dance attendees in the UK are the music itself and the social element — with the former being slightly more of a draw for festival and club attendees and the latter more of a key factor for Ibiza-goers.

Joining friends is frequently cited by dance attendees as a key motivation, alongside the desire to meet new people. This highlights that the social element of dance events appeals strongly and is a big pull outside simple interest in the genre or big-name DJs.

For Brits clubbing in Ibiza, the music and quality of parties are equally important, followed by “the crowd” when selecting which clubs to go to.

Top three venues[4]

  1. Fabric
  2. Ministry of Sound
  3. Warehouse Project

Genre preferences

Dance music does not always make it onto dance attendees’ favourite genres list, further emphasising the importance dance attendees place on having an incredible overall experience.

Dance and pop tie for attendees’ favourite genre[5] with 63% apiece, followed by rock (53%), rhythm and blues (47%), hip-hop (41%) and indie (41%). A quarter of dance attendees even name metal as one of their favourite musical genres.

Indeed, Ticketmaster transactional data reveals the highest overlap between customers who buy dance festival tickets and other music events is for lad rock,[6] ‘90s pop favourites and noughties pop.

In the UK, there is wide appeal across most sub-genres of dance itself — with little difference between those who prefer urban, Drum and Bass, and EDM at the top, and tribal house, trap and breaks at the bottom.

Ticket purchasing and the appeal of VIP experiences

Although dance events are very social, the majority of tickets sold through Ticketmaster outlets are sold as singles or pairs. Ticketmaster transactional data shows 42% of ticket purchases for events in clubs or venues were for pairs, whilst more than half (52%) of dance festival ticket purchases were for single tickets.

Ticketmaster transactional data also reveals that dance attendees in the UK buy more tickets than the average customer — and to more varied types of live events. Forty percent of dance event purchasers made non-dance purchases on Ticketmaster or TicketWeb.

When it comes to the timing of ticket purchases relative to the event, 15% of dance festival attendees said they buy their tickets before the line-up is announced. Two in five purchase right at the last minute — up to just a week before.

On average, when going to an event in a club, almost half (49%) would pay between £20 and £50 to see a celebrity DJ, whereas for less well-known DJs, the majority (52%) would not pay more than £20.

As the lure of the celebrity DJ is undeniable, the appeal of VIP experiences for festivals is also relatively strong – with 41% of festival goers strongly interested in purchasing VIP tickets. 

Discovery of events and marketing

Fifty two percent of dance attendees rely on social media for their information about dance events, 89% of which used Facebook. A minority of 12% read dance blogs, whilst one in four uses ticketing websites as a source of information.

Ticket spend and travel

The amount dance attendees are willing to pay for their tickets largely aligns with their actual spend. More than half of festival attendees spend £50 or over on their tickets, whilst one in 10 spend over £150. Seventy-five percent of dance attendees pay up to £30 for events in clubs or venues, whilst one in five pay the same amount for a ticket to a club in Ibiza.

However, 23% of Ibiza-goers would shell out £31 – £50 on a nightclub ticket. 

In terms of general spend outside of that on tickets, 16% of British dance attendees spend £100 or more on food, travel and drinks. 

Thirty-five percent of dance attendees spend quite low amounts (up to £20) to travel to a festival, and even more (64%) spend a similar amount to travel to a gig in a club/other venue.

Ticketmaster transactional data shows that 45% of tickets for club events and 26% of tickets for dance festivals are bought by people who live 10 miles away or closer.


Fifty-seven percent of dance attendees acknowledge brands have a key role in making dance events financially possible — and 46% identify alcohol brands as the most appropriate sponsors. 

Respondents were also asked where brands could add most value. Forty-two percent identified giveaways or freebies, whilst 39% suggested tech to make the event run smoothly (such as apps). Thirty-six percent chose exclusive live music content.

Mark Lawrence, chief executive of the Association for Electronic Music, said: “Thanks to Ticketmaster, finally we have a powerful study of dance music in the UK and Ibiza, which highlights that the dance floor is still a huge part of our culture. The release of this report is a pivotal moment; providing an insight into our community and educating the wider media and music industry on the value of, and the values within, dance music today.” 

Ticketmaster Vice President of Insight Sophie Crosby said: “The report makes it clear that for dance attendees, the genre is about more than just the music; attendees look for an unrivalled experience with a great crowd. By taking this on board, alongside other feedback that our report has identified, the industry has an opportunity to focus on what their customers value most: having an incredible time.”

Giles Fitzgerald of leading Music and Entertainment Consultancy FRUKT and co-author of the report said: "Dance music is continually evolving and reinventing itself. The one constant that binds different dance music genres together is the ‘passion’ that the scene evokes. That passion, as this report is testament to, is in no clearer evidence then when at the epicentre of a live event.”

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