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Live music crowd roar drowns out stadium revenues from sports

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The author is “the author of”Tarzan Economicsco-presenter of bubble trouble podcast.

It’s a post-pandemic sign that Wembley Stadium, home of Britain’s beautiful game, will host as many music concerts this year as football matches. And it hasn’t been a quiet year for football at all. The women’s Euro final set a unique attendance record. However, not all were sold out, and the 16 matches that did not have fans on the pitch were overshadowed by 16 concerts, all sold out and fans filling the entire pitch.

In total, Wembley will sell 1.3 million music tickets this summer. This is the combined population of Edinburgh and Glasgow. And these are precious events. Unlike soccer games where you can only drink between matches, music fans can drink all night long. The ticket, food, and drink pairings are peppered with rarity and often sentimentality. Of the six acts he performs — Coldplay (Six Nights). Ed Sheeran (5), Harry Styles (2), Westlife, Capital Radio, Foo Fighters Tribute — he is expected to bring in over £5million from each show.

This jackpot isn’t unique to Wembley. Across London, it reads like a Premier League table: West Ham hosted three music shows (Foo Fighters canceled two), Tottenham four, and Arsenal two. It’s not even a “London thing”. The number of stadium shows and festivals across the country is set to exceed 2,000 this year, a double-digit increase from 1,786 in 2019 before the pandemic. This phenomenon is not. Come away. Wembley will expand its concert series to 26 next summer, and many stadiums as well.

Demand for Eurovision 2023, which is set to host on behalf of the war-torn winners, is so great that the UK, second only to Ukraine, will find a venue in any running UK city. will have a hard time

FT readers and their descendants could be part of this amazing rebound story. Perhaps we’ll head to Wembley this weekend to see the start of a Coldplay match. But if you pay £120 for a ticket (one year’s worth of him on Spotify) and buy it with a beer and a grab, you’re part of a much bigger phenomenon.

A market with more choice needs more hits. His 10-year data, provided by copyright organization PRS for Music, bears this out. In his 2012, the year of the London Olympics, gig fans in the UK spent his £1.2 billion on concert tickets. By 2019, the year before live music had largely gone silent, it had increased to £1.7 billion. But all that growth happened in stadiums and festivals, where its share increased from 23% to 40%. By the end of the year, stadiums and festivals will account for the majority of UK box office spending for the first time ever. It’s at the expense of theaters, clubs and grassroots venues that feel stifled in absolutes and relatives.

The UK live industry has been hit like never before. The pandemic, streaming, and disposable income are the three reasons why live fans go crazy at big nights.

Large corporate-owned events may have been better able to comply with the changing goals of government regulations during the pandemic and are better positioned to recover afterward.

On the other hand, the pandemic has silenced music on stage and surged it on mobile phones. But music streaming presents a “paradox of choice” with 82 million songs available to him. In theory, some options are better than none, but not necessarily more than some. Only a few can stand out in such a market cacophony. For the live industry, this means that the bigger the talent and the bigger the event, the more likely the promoter is to create a point of differentiation and attract an audience.

Finally, consumers are more risk-averse about smaller shows this year and next as wallets are squeezed, inflation impacts ticket prices and pandemic fears remain nervous about indoor crowds. There is a possibility. Fans are rebalancing their entertainment portfolio, with fewer and larger outdoor events.

This is not limited to music. It will impact the entire entertainment industry as we figure out what the “new normal” will look like. Intuitively, we’ve been on the couch for so long that the experience economy needs to up its game to unleash us from the underside.

Consider the enlightening story of American football team the Atlanta Falcons. He made the bold decision to significantly lower prices while improving the quality of catering inside the glittering new stadium. Nightly spending (or Arpu) he increased by 16%. They identified competition at home (a 72-inch Smart His TV, for example) and the tailgating culture in the US, where sports fans drink beer and barbecue food in the backseat of cars in stadium parking lots. The Falcons have found themselves competing for attention on and off the pitch.

Those who can step up the game stay in the game. Stadiums and festival stages have scale to survive. But with the virtual threat of the Metaverse looming on the horizon, everyone else in the Experience Economy should realize that it’s a battle over rare, if feverish, spending.