A new report revealed the ‘music tourism’ industry was worth £119 million to the West Midlands’ economy last year, with overseas music fans contributing £15 million.
A total of 809,000 ‘music tourists’ visited the West Midlands in 2012, including 24,000 from abroad.
The Wish You Were Here report, by UK Music and Visit Britain, showed as much as 50 per cent of the region’s concert audiences were visitors – far higher than the national average of 41 per cent.
The importance of music to the economy was highlighted two weeks after figures issued by the NEC Group revealed a record-breaking year for the LG Arena and NIA, with profits up by £1.9 million for the year to March 31.
Emma Gray, director of marketing services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, said: “Our region has always had a rich music heritage, with the likes of UB40, ELO and Black Sabbath.
“This report confirms we are not only a great place to enjoy live music, but that new acts such as Laura Mvula and Peace are ensuring the West Midlands is firmly on the UK music map.”
The NEC figures showed a line-up of top acts, including One Direction, The Killers, Madonna, Jay Z, Muse and Justin Bieber, which helped the LG Arena and NIA, plus the NEC’s Ticket Factory business, amass profits of £5.6 million.
Over the 12-month period, the exhibition and live events business at the NEC Group welcomed almost four million visitors to its venues.
Nationally, the study identified that 6.5 million music loving tourists attended a festival or gig last year, generating total expenditure of £2.2 billion in the process.
The report said music tourism provides a huge boost to the UK economy, supporting at least 24,000 jobs each year.