From seeing a ceilidh band in a traditional pub or a major international act in an arena or stadium, music lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to opportunities to soak up the magic of a live event in Scotland.

Now a new report has revealed that music tourism pulled in more than 1.5 million tourists to local areas in 2022, delivering a £581 million boost to the Scottish economy.

The huge contribution was outlined in the Here, There and Everywhere report published by UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry.

The new report outlines the impact of the eagerly anticipated resurgence of live music in 2022 – the first full year of post-Covid festivals, gigs and concerts across the UK, and shows the international reputation of the UK’s live music events. 

Music tourists were lured by festivals in Scotland such as Celtic Connections, TRNSMT, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Mull Music Festival, as well as concerts from the likes of The Killers at Falkirk Stadium, Coldplay at Hampden Park, Glasgow and Harry Styles at Ibrox Stadium.

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There was also a display of homegrown Scottish talent with Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Edwyn Collins all headlining shows as part of Glasgow’s Summer Nights concert series and as well as a concert from Calvin Harris at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

As well, as those mentioned already, internationally successful bands and artists to have come from Scotland include Annie Lennox, Young Fathers, KT Tunstall, Proclaimers, Lewis Capaldi, Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand and many others.

Grassroots, small and medium-sized music venues such as Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree, Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms and Sneaky Pete’s and Glasgow’s Hug and Pint and Barrowland Ballroom have also helped develop this talent.

While other organisations, businesses and events that support the Scottish music include the Scottish Music Industry Association, the Scottish Album of the Year, Scottish Music Centre, Castlesound Studios, Wide Days and more.

The report also features case studies from across the UK that highlight good practice, including Black Bay Studio on the Isle Of Lewis.

The Herald: TRNSMT takes place every year on Glasgow GreenTRNSMT takes place every year on Glasgow Green (Image: PR)

Of the 1.5 million ‘music tourists’ attending live events in Scotland in 2022, over 100,000 were found to be from outside the UK, while 1.4 million were classed as ‘domestic’ music tourists. 

The report found that the total employment sustained by music tourism in Scotland in 2022 was 5,340. 

Meanwhile, across the UK as a whole, total attendance at UK festivals and concerts in 2022 was 37.1 million. A total of 6.5 million music fans attended festivals in the UK in 2022, while 30.6 million people attended concerts at venues such as arenas or pubs. 

UK Music estimates that the £6.6 billion supported by music tourism in the UK last year could increase significantly by 2030 – with the right support from Government, local councils and others to spread growth and job across the UK.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “Music is one of our great assets – not only is it critical to the economic success in Scotland and across the UK, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map.

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 “In 2022, music pulled more than 1.5 million tourists into local areas and supported £581 million of spending in local economies across Scotland. This is testament to just how important a thriving musical ecosystem is for Scotland’s towns and cities.

 “But while music generates huge benefits for our local areas, the infrastructure and talent pipeline that it relies on still faces huge challenges. With a venue closing every week and one in six festivals not returning since Covid, it’s vital that we protect the musical infrastructure that does so much for our towns and cities.

“Post-pandemic, the role of music in transformative placemaking is more important than ever – and this report provides a valuable toolkit for local authorities to help them seize the benefits of being a “music city”.

 “By harnessing the power of music, Scotland can generate thousands more jobs, boost economic growth and attract even more visitors to the local area. This report shows how to turn that potential into reality.”

 Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart said: “Despite our small size, Scotland truly has a remarkable live music industry. Year after year, we see artists of all levels of stardom choosing to come to Scotland to perform, not to mention the huge range of festivals we have to choose from.

 “It is fantastic to see the sector thriving once again post-Covid, but it is not yet out of the woods due to the skyrocketing production costs we are currently seeing. In my constituency alone, the brilliant Otherlands Festival has just been forced to cancel this year.

 “It is therefore vital that all levels of government double down on their commitments to the industry to ensure it is protected and can continue to grow for years to come.”

 A spokesperson for Scottish music and event promoter DF Concerts said: “This report cements the fact that live music is at the root of economic activity and recovery, not only across Scotland but the full UK. Scotland has such a rich cultural connection to live music and it is very evident that music fans have not lost any appetite for watching their favourite artists live across the country.”