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UK Music Chief Tells MPs How British Acts Abroad Can Drum Up Tourism At Home



 

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has told MPs how the success of the UK music industry overseas can deliver a huge boost to domestic tourism in the UK.

Taking about the creative industries UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:

“Our sectors are not just beneficiaries of tourism; we are drivers of it as well and we are really important if this country wants to be seen as having a thriving tourism industry.”

As the head of UK Music, the collective voice of the industry, Jamie told the cross-party group of MPs in Westminster on Tuesday (March 29), how the popularity of British acts abroad helped encourage visitors to the UK and increased spending by tourists.

His comments came during his appearance before MPs at the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee as part of their inquiry into promoting Britain abroad.

Jamie appeared alongside BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor as part of a panel from the creative industries giving evidence to MPs.

Jamie said: “The music industry has an incredibly successful recorded music sector, which has a global reach. 

“We have people who have never come to the UK, who have a connection to British music.

“In an emotional or cultural sense, often a person’s first experience of the UK is in the films they watch and the music they consume.”

“Major events across the UK act as tentpoles. They are drivers for people to come to the UK for that concert or festival. That could be Glastonbury, Wireless, Glyndebourne. These people will be spending money in restaurants and bars, they will be staying in hotels.”

He added: “The wider live music ecosystem, which creates a rich cultural fabric of shows, events, gigs and concerts, creates that reputation of the UK as somewhere that is a home of live music. You can come here as a tourist and know that there will be world-class theatre, amazing music and wonderful cultural events.

“When you speak to a lot of towns and cities, they want to go from a day trip economy to an overnight economy. So, having live music and theatre in the evening is a real driver. It’s not just part of the music ecosystem, but part of the wider tourism ecosystem as well.”

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor highlighted the Music Export Growth Scheme as a great example of industry and government working together.

He described the scheme as “tremendously successful”, but warned that greater investment was needed to avoid the UK losing out in an intensely competitive global market.

Geoff Taylor said: “If we assume our music industry will continue to be as successful in the future as it has been in the past when other countries are investing more, then we are being foolish because we will not maintain our level of success without investment.”

However, the UK Music chief warned about the impact of Brexit on the ability of British musicians and crew to work and tour across the EU and the impact that was having on the UK’s domestic tourism.

Jamie said: “Brexit has been a bit of a nightmare for the music industry. It is a challenge for bigger, established acts because of things like cabotage but it is especially challenging for younger, new emerging artists who want to tour Europe.

“They have gone in a year and a half from having a single set of rules they need to navigate to a patchwork of rules and it has been deterring artists. One of the things we are working on is having a clearer understanding of what the rules are.” 

“We want to make it easier for people to tour the EU because these people are effectively ambassadors, building fan bases.”

A total of 33.7 million people attended live music events in the UK in 2019, an increase of 13% on the previous year, according to UK Music's latest available figures. The numbers dropped significantly due to the impact of COVID-19, but are anticipated to climb again in what will be a crucial summer for the sector.

The Music Venue Trust estimates that every £10 spent in a music venue is worth £17 to the local economy.

Research commissioned by Liverpool City Council in 2016 found that The Beatles heritage was worth £82 million per year to the city and supported 2,335 jobs. 

UK Music’s report This Is Music 2021 found that a small music venue event (200 capacity) creates almost £50,000 additional value for the economy, a medium music venue event (600 capacity) creates more than £140,000, and a large music venue event (1800 capacity) creates £425,000.

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