Music Tourism

You probably would not automatically refer to ‘Music Tourism’ in a casual phrase, but it illustrates a new cultural phenomenon. Music Tourism is broadly defined as ‘people traveling to a new area in order to attend a concert, gig or festival’.

Higher disposable incomes have led to a significant growth in this sector since the 1960’s and now it is a global trend.

Black Sabbath

Let’s look at one case in point: Black Sabbath, (the band credited with inventing ‘Rock’ in 1968), played their final concert last night at the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham U.K. The event was a culmination of a farewell tour which saw them perform in Europe, North and South America and Australasia. For the final gig, people had come from as far away as Honduras and Australia.

The Major Players

But the really big tours of recent years, are the big hitters in the Music Industry. We can take a look at the highest grossing tours of recent years, and the figures are eye-popping:

  • Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball World Tour in 2012-13 took in today’s figures $365 million, played 127 shows and was seen by 3,650,000 people.
  • AC/DC’s Black Eye World Tour in 2008-2010 took (again 2017 figures) $484 million played 127 shows and was attended by 4,847,000 people.
  • Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) The Wall Tour in 2010-13 took $484 million over 219 shows and had an attendance of 4,130,000.
  • But the first prize by a long way is U2. Their U2 360 degree Tour took $784 million over 110 shows attended by a whopping 7,727,000 people.

Other Winners

I think we have illustrated that this is big business but in many senses, it’s just a part of the equation. The hospitality industry probably makes more than this per head in every city that hosts a major concert.For example Hotels, Bars and Restaurants. To extract as much profit as possible, most venues now incorporate eating and drinking facilities to a much higher standard than previously expected.


Probably an alternative view can be provided by examining the world-famous Glastonbury Festival.Held annually in the last week in June (for 2017 21-25 June) and already sold out as of today’s date (actually in the first 20 minutes), tickets for Glastonbury cost around £250 each.It may seem expensive for a concert in a field at Pilton in Somerset (in the rural West of England) but you can see 3000 acts over 100 stages. Visitors are treated to a 5-day 24-hour party and they are willing to travel from across the globe, to spend a week in a tent in the sometimes rain-prone British weather.

It is so well organised that major coach companies schedule services to Glastonbury from 70 destinations all over the U.K. The nearest major Airport is London Heathrow.

Attendance at Glastonbury was 135,000 in 2016. Over the 47 years of the Festival, it made more than £325 million in ticket sales alone. Bear in mind that food and beverage sales plus on-site shops add to this immensely.

Of course not all music venues have to be the size of the National Exhibition Centre or Glastonbury, and many smaller venues are finding it highly lucrative to bring in less well-known bands who nonetheless have a devoted following willing to travel across the country to hear them.

Lasting Legacies

Music Tourism can leave a legacy, some visitors who come to see a band, later come back to see more of the town, city or area. Glastonbury brings millions of pounds into the local economy, including hundreds of jobs in an area where employment is not that easy to come by.

So going to see a concert can now be seen in a completely different light.

At we have a comprehensive range of flights and hotels all over the world.

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