Research by Oxford Economics for UK Music shows that the £191m indirect and direct spend by 380,000 music tourists visiting the East Midlands includes £99m of direct spending and supports around 1,500 jobs. UK Music is the umbrella organisation which represents the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry – from artists and songwriters to record labels and studio producers.
The report singles out Rock City as “an iconic venue that attracts international visitors and students to the city’s universities in preference to those elsewhere in the UK. Over a 35 year history, it has played host to celebrated gigs by such massive names as Nirvana, Oasis and Public Enemy.”
During 2014 Rock City, on Talbot Street in Nottingham city centre, saw more than 110,000 attendees at gigs including shows by Bastille, Haim and London Grammar. The venue has won numerous national awards and we are continuing to invest in it with Rock City benefitting from a £250,000 upgrade to its sound system and facilities over the past 12 months alone.
Our Managing Director George Akins said: “Live music is really booming at the moment and we’re delighted to play our part in making such a strong contribution to the local economy. First and foremost we’re passionate about music and we’re always striving to make sure our venues give the best live experience available, that’s what keeps people coming back time and again.”
Matthew Horne, who grew up in Nottingham and shot to fame on Gavin & Stacey, has said, “I’ve seen David Bowie, Radiohead and the Chemical Brothers at Rock City and I still go now.”
Praise for the venue has also come from Jeff Allen, chairman of the Nottingham Business Improvement District: “Nottingham has a fantastic array of live music venues from the Arena which is big enough to attract world class acts through to smaller more intimate venues such as Bodega. The most iconic is Rock City which is the perfect size venue and has a great atmosphere. I love it and remember seeing Kings of Leon there on a couple of occasions and also John Martin. Nottingham’s great live music scene is fantastic for local people but it also attracts visitors from further afield to the city. Not only is this good news for the venues but also for other city centre businesses that benefit from the additional people in the city. This includes our bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels, but also our shops.”
Music tourism within the UK increased by 34% from 2011 to 2014. Tourist numbers increased from 7.1 million to 9.5 million, whilst the number of overseas music tourists increased by 39% during that time. The direct and indirect spend generated by music tourists increased by 24% from £2.5bn to £3.1 bn. Over the same period, the UK economy grew by 4.9%.
For more information on Rock City and for their latest gig listings visit www.rock-city.co.uk.