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The live music sector enjoyed a record year in 2019, contributing £1.3 billion to the UK economy ­– up 17% on its £1.1bn contribution the previous year, according to UK Music’s Music By Numbers 2020 report.

The £1.3bn GVA used in the organisation’s annual report does not include associated spend around events, such as the purchase of food and drink.

The UK music industry campaigning and lobbying group’s annual report found that the live sector employed 34,000 people last year, up 11% from 30,529 in 2018. Exports also grew 8% to £86 million from £80m in 2018.

A high number of stadium tours and a consistently strong performance across the sector, together with data collection improvements among grassroots venues contributed to the increase. International artists such as Bon Jovi and The Eagles played UK stadiums during 2019 alongside homegrown acts including the Spice Girls and Take That.

UK Music said the live music sector had been devastated by Covid-19, with revenues falling to almost zero, and that while the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund had done a great deal of good more action was needed to ensure the sector’s future.

“A sector that was once proudly self-reliant is now in urgent need of a lifeline.”

The report said: “A sector that was once proudly self-reliant is now in urgent need of a lifeline.”

UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said, “When the time comes to recover from this pandemic, our world-leading music industry can be a key part of our country’s post-Covid economic and cultural revival – but we need the right support to get us there.”

Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage added, “The UK music industry is at the heart of our arts and cultural sector, which is the envy of the world. It is a key national asset and something that should make us all proud. Music enriches all of our lives, but it also makes a huge contribution to our economy.

“British stars helped drive exports up to £2.9bn in 2019 – a 9% increase and a fantastic overseas calling card for Britain. Behind every artist, band and orchestra is an army of talented professionals who play their part in the industry’s ecosystem.”