To Gig or Not To Gig: More than 8 million British adults have never been to a gig

  • One third of Brits haven’t experienced live music in the past ten years
  • People in Yorkshire are the least likely to have gone to a gig, while Londoners are the biggest gig goers
  • O2-commissioned study shows that 67% of people prefer live music to recorded tracks
  • Priority Tickets provides O2 customers with access to over 5,000 shows in over 350 venues across the UK

More than 8 million1 Brits aged 18 and over have never been to a gig, while more than 16 million haven’t experienced live music in the past ten years, according to a new study.

Research by O22 showed that millions are missing out on the magic of live music, which more than two thirds (67%) of Brits believe is better than playing the tracks at home, citing the atmosphere, the people you get to meet and the feeling of engaging with the artist on stage when you go to a gig.

The news that so many people have yet to go attend their first gig comes after a recent scientific study which showed that regular gig-going is actually good for you. It can help extend lifespans by nine years, while just 20 minutes of gig time was proven to increase people’s feelings of self-worth, closeness to others, mental stimulation and general feelings of wellbeing – surely something that will set alarm bells ringing for the 31% of Brits who haven’t attended a gig in the past decade.

According to the research, Londoners are the biggest live music fans, with one in six (17%) attending a gig at least once a month. But, almost one in five (19%) people aged 55 and over have never been to a gig before, while people in Yorkshire and the Humber are the least likely to have gone to a gig (21% have never been).

Many people who’ve never been to a gig claim the price puts them off (36%), 23% said they find crowds overwhelming, 15% said they lived too far from a venue and 15% felt they were too old to go.

But these fears only apply to those who’ve never been to gigs, the research revealed. Those who go regularly love the experience. Half (50%) cited the atmosphere as one of the best things about seeing live music, while 41% said making memories was one of the key parts of gig-going.

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2, said:

“Our research has revealed that many people are missing out on the incredible experience of seeing live music. But that doesn’t have to be the case. O2 has 19 O2 Academy venues in 13 cities across the UK and through Priority Tickets, we give our customers access to over 5,000 live shows in more than 350 venues across every year.”

When it comes to artists that Brits wish they’d seen live, Queen, The Beatles and Abba topped the list. In the survey, respondents were also asked which genres they listen to in order to make themselves feel happy. The results encompassed a broad musical spectrum, with pop emerging as the victor. Here is the full top ten:

The top ten genres of music people listen to when they want to feel happy:

  • Pop – 41%
  • Rock – 32%
  • Pop Rock – 27%
  • Classical – 20%
  • Dance – 19%
  • Country – 18%
  • Disco – 18%
  • Ballads – 16%
  • Musicals – 15%
  • Indie – 15%

About O2 and live music:

  • The O2 is the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue
  • The O2 has welcomed over 60 million visitors and sold 20 million tickets since opening in 2007
  • O2 has 19 O2 Academy venues in 13 cities across the UK
  • To date, 25 million people have been through the doors of an O2 Academy venue
  • O2 customers have access to tickets to over 5,000 shows in over 350 venues across the UK each year via Priority Tickets

To find your nearest gigs, visit: https://www.o2.co.uk/follow-the-rabbit

 -ENDS-

 Notes to Editors

1Population estimates sourced from ONS; extrapolations based on a British adult population of 51.7m. The 8m figure was produced by one in six people (16%) saying they have yet to attend their first gig, while the 16m figure was produced by a third (31%) of respondents saying they have missed out on going to gigs for the past decade.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland

2Consumer research of representative sample of 2,000 UK adults was conducted by One Poll in February 2018.