Nothing beats the excitement and energy of seeing your favourite band or artist perform live. It’s a tradition that has shaped the UK’s cultural makeup for generations, and one that we continue to hold dear. Fortunately, live music is very much alive and kicking with record-breaking attendance and a significant rise in audience numbers from last year.
That’s according to UK Music’s recent Wish You Were Here 2017 report into music tourism. The recently published survey has recorded a 12% rise in audience figures over the last 12 months, with audiences up 30.9 million in 2016 from 27.7 million in 2015. Furthermore, UK Music estimates the growth of music tourism has contributed £4 billion to the UK economy.
The country’s live music industry is so popular that the number of music tourists visiting the UK from abroad has increased by 20%, with close to a million people travelling to see performances at venues and festival sites across the country.
Being one of the UK’s leading providers of music education, live music is very much close to our hearts. We have long invested our time, efforts and valuable funding into ensuring our students benefit from the wealth of opportunities available within the live music sphere.
We currently sponsor an increasing number of events and festivals, including The Great Escape, 2000trees, Liverpool Sound City, 2000 Trees, Truck Festival, Y Not, ArcTanGent, Reeperbahn, and Glastonbury, many of which play host to our annual BIMM Showcases of new and emerging talent.
Aside from performances, our live music activity gives students who are studying for technical and production-based qualifications the chance to hone their skills. The past year has seen many working backstage at some of the UK’s best events, with roles in artist hospitality, stage management, and more.
Through work experience and sponsorship, we continue to ensure that each one of our students has the skills, confidence and expertise needed to thrive in this burgeoning industry. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what our students and have to say:
BIMM Manchester’s Oli Harkness was one of a group of 20 students who worked backstage on our BIMM Presents stage at 2000trees in July. He says:
“The contacts you make through these BIMM events and festivals have been massively helpful. I’ve now found work outside of BIMM which is great.”
He was joined on the day by BIMM Brighton’s Casey Newman, who was also full of praise for the festival and the opportunity he received through the BIMM. He adds:
“For my first time coming and working here [2000trees], I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was 100 times better than I thought it was going to be.”
Reflecting on his experience at Glastonbury, BIMM Brighton’s Ed Sansom, who made his festival debut on our BIMM Showcase on the Bandstand stage, said:
“Being invited to sing my songs at Glastonbury was definitely a proud moment for me. To perform at Glasto is a dream. It all felt surreal, and I can’t wait to go back.”
Talented BIMM Brighton songwriter Amelia Caesar also received a chance to play at ‘the big one’, thanks to our connections with Glastonbury. Speaking to BIMM after her performance, she said:
“I’d never been to Glastonbury before, I’ve always dreamed of going. I never really thought I’d have the chance to play. Being able to play was a surreal experience.
“It’s true when people say there’s something about Glastonbury that you can’t explain to someone who hasn’t been; it’s a really special place, and I feel extremely lucky to be part of the lineup this year.”
UK Music calculates that the live music industry has alone has created 47,445 full-time positions, which is fantastic news for all aspiring music professionals.
Data from our in-house survey shows that 82% of BIMM graduates are in work within six months of graduating. Also 72% are working within the music and creative industries thanks to our close ties and partnerships with event organisers, companies and music industry insiders.
The outlook is extremely positive for BIMM students past and present and for all prospective undergraduates who wish to embark on a career in the live music industry. Click here to find out more about BIMM or for more details on enrolment dates and the courses we offer for this coming year.