Electronic music is worth billions to the night time economy

Electronic music is worth literally billions to the UK’s night-time economy – yet it remains misunderstood and maligned in political circles.

During the Covid lockdown and its aftermath, dance music dependent businesses were stung by the UK government’s reticence to direct support towards their sector, whilst venues specialising in other forms of music were deemed more worthy of a share of limited budgets.

Now, in a bid to avoid a repetition of such cultural apartheid, the Night Time Industries Association has issued the first ever UK electronic music industry report shining a light on the powerful impact the genre has on the nation’s economies and communities.

The NTIA report also identifies the challenges faced by the electronic music scene, including licensing, zoning, and gentrification, and suggests potential solutions for supporting electronic music in the UK.

The total measurable economic impact of electronic music in the UK, including concerts, festivals, and nightclubs, is estimated at £2.63 billion. Live electronic music, including concerts, events, and festivals, is extraordinarily popular – with electronic music the most common genre at UK festivals, making up 29% of artists performing.

Over 2.4 million people attended UK festivals with electronic music in the last 12 months, while on a week-to-week basis, nightclubs provide a space for people to come together and experience the music, generating significant revenue through tickets, and drinks.

It is estimated that there are no less than 103 million nights out based on electronic music each year, with 96.2m of them in nightclubs – generating around £1,657million.

However, there are significant concerns about the decline of physical spaces for electronic music. The report suggests that the UK government could support electronic music by appointing a nighttime advisor, reducing regulatory burdens, providing financial support, promoting the UK as a destination for electronic music, encouraging community involvement, investing in electronic music education, and addressing gentrification and redevelopment.

CEO of NTIA, Michael Kill, said: “Electronic music is one of the UK’s understated phenomena, it shapes and embraces communities, educates, inspires and unites the UK with its unique form of culture.

“For the last two years, we have been formulating a strategy to deliver this report alongside key stakeholders and leaders in this space to substantiate the true economic, community and cultural value of the electronic music sector.

“The foundation of this work was born from the realisation during the pandemic that the Government has a limited understanding of the industry, but also considers the responsibility of the sector to educate decision-makers,” said Mr Kill.

“This was highlighted when the Government’s financial support in the UK excluded electronic music from its initial scope as part of the wider Cultural Recovery Fund through the Arts Council.

“Through the efforts of millions of electronic music supporters, we convinced the Government to recognise the importance of counterculture and include the sector in its support,” he recalled. “We hope that the Government, through industry insight, will have a greater understanding of the sector, and support it in a way that cements its future in British culture.”