Question for Short Debate
My Lords, I was tempted—and have decided to do so—to start this debate on music tourism by saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah”. As we know, in recent decades our music industry has moved from strength to strength. Indeed, we can hardly ignore the explosion of music events, be it classical, dance, folk, jazz, metal, pop or rock; we are spoilt for choice. The world-famous Glastonbury festival, which just hosted an astonishing 120,000 festival goers this year, is but one of hundreds that are now a regular occurrence up and down the land, from the Isle of Wight festival on the south coast to T in the Park in the Scottish Highlands. Festivals undoubtedly play an essential role in local and regional economies. I can speak for Liverpool and comment on the impact that music has historically made upon her tourist economy, but, of course, the same applies to exotic lands further afield, notably, the flourishing St Lucia jazz festival.
As I mentioned, this year’s Glastonbury festival was fantastically successful. It is too soon to gauge the full economic impact, but the last detailed economic assessment in 2007 reported direct spending of £73 million, with 23% going directly into Mendip’s local economy. As well as money pouring into local economies, festivals are attracting unprecedented numbers of overseas visitors. It may interest noble Lords to know that Brazilians are the most active in this regard, followed by New Zealanders and Norwegians. Research undertaken by UK Music shows that international music tourists attending large-scale music events contribute at least £247 million to the UK economy. I look forward to reading its new report, which is due to be published next month, as it will reveal how many people attend live music concerts and festivals each year. Specifically, we will learn what proportion of live music audiences are comprised of music tourists as opposed to the local population, as well as how much this spending benefits the regional and national economies and employment.
It is important to place music tourism in its international context so that we can learn how further to bolster and improve this country as a music destination. Is it any wonder that two of the top five international music festivals take place in the UK? Music festivals underpin our efforts and many places become synonymous with music hotspots. Many cities are excellent at creating such imagery, keen to harness the benefits as visitors descend on their musical events. For example, Berlin’s annual Love Parade—a celebration of club and techno culture—attracts more than 1 million visitors every year. The New Orleans jazz festival draws in over 400,000 people, and the Salzburg festival attracts over 200,000. The St Lucia jazz festival, which I mentioned earlier, makes a profit of nearly $6 million, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music brings in $4 million to the local economy.
These regions have successfully marketed themselves as attractive music destinations. It is true that large music tourism developments are based in locations with the most famous scenes, styles and individuals. Salzburg has Mozart and Memphis has Elvis, but this has not stopped other cities building upon lesser reputations or seeking to create music tourism economies where little or no musical association previously existed. Great Britain simply has too much potential for musical tourism for the Government to stand idly by. I note from VisitBritain’s survey of 20,000 overseas panellists that music is seen as being very much an integral part of our culture and heritage. Indeed 44% of those asked feel that music is a cultural activity that they would expect to be produced by UK plc.
We are a talented nation. This House and the country can be extremely proud of last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The events brought untold success for our athletes, but they were also very significant for the capital and the nation as a whole. There is a catalogue of economic reports about the Games’ legacy and impact. However, I would suggest that what is missing is an attempt to take a broader look at the impact that music played during the Games. Many of us will have watched the brilliant opening and closing ceremonies that celebrated the success of British music throughout the ages. They showcased how British music has been and is of world-class standard. By the time of the closing ceremony, Chinese media were showering Britain with praise as a “holy land for music”. Equally, the Germans believed that the Games showcased the UK as the great power of pop music and culture. Even Russian newspapers believed that British music made the Games truly unforgettable. Our worldwide success propelled UK artists’ share of total global album sales. I firmly believe, and I am sure noble Lords will agree, that the Olympics showcased the importance of British music not only to the nation, but to the entire world. We have a very proud history of producing stellar musicians and the Olympics were an opportunity to celebrate this proud heritage.
However, Great Britain has always had world-class music talent in every genre, from the Rolling Stones to the Halle Orchestra, and I am proud to say that the UK is one of three net exporters of music throughout the world. Our music success has the potential to propel Britain’s profile as a music destination even further and the Prime Minister acknowledged as much at the British Recorded Music Industry’s 40th anniversary party. Now more than ever we must harness the international goodwill that the Games have rekindled for British music. The real impact will not come just from visitor footfall, but from businesses keen to see the country at its zenith. Music tourism, if supported properly by government, can and will play a vital role in attracting even more guests and even more spending, year after year.
As I mentioned earlier, my own city of Liverpool is steeped in musical tradition. We are the city that gave the world The Beatles, but there is still a host up of up-and-coming talented musicians including The Wombats and, although yet to be recognised, The Stopouts. Most importantly, Liverpool’s music scene has always been supported by the community. This has been its key to success. Beat in the Mersey, a tour that opened a few weeks ago, aims to tell the story of Liverpool’s musical history through song, dance and music. It concentrates on the period when Liverpool was the second city of the then British Empire, drawing millions to her port, who brought with them music from around the globe. It is easy to romanticise about the period when Liverpool became a musical sponge, soaking up influences from the many thousands who passed through its docks. As Beat in the Mersey makes clear, the seven miles of dockland spread along Liverpool’s shores were crucial to her musical and cultural development.
Only yesterday, I was delighted to read in the local press that the Liverpool International Music Festival will be boosted by the EU’s commitment to inject more than £2 million into its leisure and tourism offer. This, I hope, means that an extra 2.5 million visitors will flock to Merseyside and pump £200 million into the local economy by 2015. Liverpool as a community has been keen to promote itself beyond a shrine to John, Paul, George and Ringo. It is a city where musical talent is intrinsic to the very people who walk her streets. Indeed, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has been organising events with schools and the community since the 1940s, when Sir Malcolm Sargent introduced concerts for schools. By 2009, the orchestra was reaching out to some 45,000 people, including 22,000 children, every year. The desire to bring out the best in Liverpool’s musical community can also be seen in the Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre, which is used as a music rehearsal space for future musical talent. It engages with young people in innovative ways, using music as a way to develop the individual.
Community musical groups, along with up-and-coming musicians, have been aided by the Live Music Act 2012, which was initiated by my noble friend Lord Clement-Jones and shepherded through the other place by Don Foster MP. The Act has removed a lot of unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, and now community organisations and music venues can put on even more events designed to bring local people together. Now that venues have more freedom to host live events, British artists have more opportunities to develop their talents. This will serve only to enrich our local communities and the economy overall. UK Music estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events. Who knows? Of those 13,000 venues, we could have another Cavern Club with new musical talent waiting to jump on to the world stage.
The globe’s evident love of our musical heritage must be harnessed and used to support music tourism. I strongly urge the Government to consider how best to implement a well defined music strategy. Northern Ireland is already engaged in such an activity. The strategy rests on enabling the music industry to realise its full economic potential. It has been informed by detailed consultation with more than 80 representatives from the industry, as well as with public agencies interested in the sector’s development. The strategy aims to develop a creative and vibrant music sector to achieve consistent and sustainable economic growth. This will create jobs and contribute to wealth. This, in turn, adds to a positive image of Northern Ireland on the world stage. By devising and implementing a music strategy, Northern Ireland is making the most of a tangible economic and cultural opportunity. We as a nation must do the same to attract even greater numbers of overseas music tourists. Our approach should emphasise and engage with existing tourist bodies and authorities across Britain, and help them to market themselves as music tourist destinations.
I am sure that we all agree that our great cities have provided the world with fantastic music and musicians—from classical to jazz, from reggae to pop. Liverpool launched four young men to unparalleled heights, Manchester gave us Oasis, Birmingham produced Led Zeppelin and London propelled Adele from obscurity to near universal fame. We are extremely lucky to have such a strong and vibrant musical history and, if we are to be successful in the future, not only must we build upon the country’s musical titans, but our communities, schools and people must also play their part. As the song goes,
“I should have known better”.
I suggest that we do know better and I hope that the Government will lead the charge in creating a national music strategy.
My Lords, we should all be indebted to the noble Lord for securing this debate. I wholeheartedly endorse everything he had to say about our extraordinary musical heritage. At a time when so much attention is rightly being paid to reducing the deficit, it is crucial that those of us who love the arts, and classical music in particular, trumpet—no pun intended—the contribution that they make to our economy. This debate affords us a perfect opportunity to highlight the role of music in tourism, which is one of the engines of economic growth. I declare an interest as a member of the council of the Royal College of Music, home to some of the world's most remarkable young musicians.
As we have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Storey, this country is blessed with an energetic and colourful musical life, whether it be the grand set pieces such as the BBC Proms, the constant supply of glorious music at the Royal Festival Hall, Covent Garden, the ENO, the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall and many other cultural centres, or programmes of astonishing music-making most nights of the term at our conservatoires. Moreover, this pattern, as the noble Lord also said, is mirrored throughout the regions. On any day of the week, we are able to join in any variety of musical experiences, from the “Ring Cycle” at the Proms, to “Peter Grimes” on Aldeburgh Beach, to Beethoven at the Barbican or to Schubert songs at Wigmore Hall. Indeed, we can probably hear the great master works of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley of Knighton. Our artistic repertoire is not limited to the great composers. Key to our musical tapestry, I believe, is the way in which we blend together household names with those who are not so well known, whether it be string quartets by Dittersdorf or the remarkable six-handed piano works of Gurlitt, both of which I have heard recently, as well as nurturing new talent.
This extraordinary musical offering, as we have heard, attracts substantial international audiences. For so many visitors to our shores, music is the magnet that lures them here. In a recent London Visitor Survey, some 60% of overseas visitors said that theatre, music and arts performances were either very important or important in their decision to visit London. It is estimated that, of the 4.2 million people attending classical concerts, opera or ballet in a year, 10% are from overseas. That, of course, has a big economic impact in not just around £10 million in ticket sales but in the spending on hotels, restaurants and souvenirs. A trend has been assiduously tracked over time by UK Music, which plays such an important and energetic role in the advocacy of music’s economic power.
The main point I want to make today is that great music-making by 50,000 performing musicians in the UK does not just happen by chance. There has to be a steady supply of new, well-trained entrants to the profession who can both perform and teach. If we want to will the ends—in other words, increased tourism and revenue—then we must will the means, which means keeping our music teaching the best in the world, as I believe it is. That is why the UK's conservatoires are of fundamental importance to this debate. As a report last year by the LSE entitled The Impact of Three London Conservatoires on the UK and London Economies concluded:
“The conservatoires are a key factor in the development and sustainability of London as a world music centre. Their graduates are heavily involved in the classical and modern music production which is crucial to London’s role as a leading centre of the arts … The conservatoires are an integral part of a network that provides London with benefits arising from this agglomeration both in terms of the music industry and through its symbiotic relationship with tourism, other creative arts, and the cultural industries generally”.
Crucially, the conservatoires train musicians, who then take part in the orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles that make up our national music tapestry. The three conservatoires which commissioned the LSE report together produce each year some 300 music graduates. Therefore, over a 20-year period, they educate some 6,000 musicians, a significant proportion of the total number of musicians working in live performance. That includes many of the highest-achieving musicians, whose work, according to the LSE report,
“is likely to be fundamental to the entire music sector, on which the other performers also depend”.
That point is underlined by the fact that employment levels for conservatoire alumni are extremely high.
Recent figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show near full employment for conservatoire graduates, at a time when 10% of graduates from other universities are not in work or further education six months after leaving. Moreover, as Unistats Key Information Set statistics show, that work is overwhelmingly in the profession for which they studied. For the Royal College of Music, for instance, that means that 80% are in the artistic category and a further 10% are in teaching. Similarly, a study by the Musicians’ Union quoted in the LSE report analysed the educational origins of players in four major London orchestras in the early 2000s and found that two-thirds came from the leading conservatoires, with the Royal College of Music topping that list with just under 22% of graduates. If we want great orchestras, we must have great conservatoires.
It is not just classical music and the big orchestras which depend on conservatoire graduates. They also make up a high percentage of performers in London’s West End musicals. According to the Society of London Theatre, more than 8 million people attended a musical in London in 2011, with revenues that year of £329 million. Musical theatre is of course also a major export earner for the country. Whether it is “Les Misérables”, “Mamma Mia!” or “The Phantom of the Opera”, conservatoire graduates are at the centre of the musical action.
In terms of the ratio of their economic worth to the funding which they attract, our conservatoires provide enormous value for money. Central government grants to the conservatoires total about only £17 million each year, including a modest but crucial amount of exceptional funding. In turn, they play a disproportionate role in supporting a sector that is worth nearly £800 million to the economy in ticket sales to visitors from overseas and the wider value added from classical music and musical theatre. That seems to me a not inconsiderable bargain for the taxpayer and one that we must protect.
This debate asks the Government to address what plans they have to promote and support the impact of music on tourism. The most vital thing that the Government can do is to ensure that music teaching in the UK remains as vibrant, energetic, imaginative and inspirational as ever. I ask my noble friend to do three things. The first is to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to our conservatoires, on which they have rightly and commendably always placed such value. The second is to note, as we move through tough economic times, that any cuts to capital spending will disproportionately affect conservatoires because their facilities, in terms of both estate and instruments—in particular, pianos—are integral to the replication of professional conditions.
The third, given that music-making is international in its scope and that we need to attract the brightest and best from across the globe to our conservatoires, is to ensure that the visa regime works in a practical and effective manner to allow that to happen. That is particularly important for professional performers who wish to remain in the UK after their studies. Those are three important things we can do to ensure that music continues to play its full part in attracting visitors to our country and underpinning the tourism which is such an important engine of long-term, sustainable growth.
My Lords, I join others in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Storey, on securing the debate. It is timely for all sorts of reasons, which I shall come to in a minute. It is also important to focus attention, as has the noble Lord, Lord Black, on the huge potential that we have in the United Kingdom. I echo his remarks about the visa regime for incoming musicians. It is a challenging issue. I see my noble friend Lord Boateng in his place. He and I have both struggled with visa difficulties that international musicians face in coming to Britain. I should draw attention to the fact that I am a non-executive director of VisitBritain; that is in the Register of Members’ Interests.
The noble Lord, Lord Storey, talked about the Glastonbury festival, the biggest and one of the most exciting music festivals in the world. I want to begin by talking about another music festival that I attended last weekend, the East Neuk Festival in Fife. The East Neuk of Fife is a tiny corner of Fife. At the north, there is St Andrews, famous as the home of golf and also as the meeting place of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Nobody is 100% certain where the East Neuk ends, but it is probably about 10 miles further down the road.
The East Neuk Festival began because of an initiative by half a dozen people 10 years ago. It is largely a chamber music festival with poetry and other elements. Last Friday, I attended a concert in Crail parish church by the wonderful musician Christian Zacharias. It was standing room only, and outside there were two coaches that had come from the west of Scotland, a journey of about two hours on not particularly good roads. Last year, the East Neuk Festival attracted just short of 19,000 people to three events and sold 6,000 tickets for concerts in church halls, scout halls and a nuclear bunker. It is not “Your Hundred Best Tunes”. You will get Schubert, Schumann and Chopin. Last Saturday afternoon, I listened to the “Inuksuit” percussion suite by John Adams. I did not think I would enjoy it, but it was stunningly done in a walled garden. The festival is a lure to people not just in Scotland but even more widely.
Tonight, 20 miles away at Balado in Kinross-shire, there will be tens of thousands of people making their way to T in the Park. Balado is not in the Highlands. The great advantage of T in the Park is that it is an hour from Glasgow and an hour from Edinburgh. Each day, 85,000 people will make their way to Balado, a former RAF base whose day job is as a poultry farm. T in the Park is in its 20th year and is internationally renowned. My daughter is a marketing executive with T in the Park and you have no idea how popular that makes me with some Members of your Lordships’ House and the other place when the tickets come on sale.
Festivals like that are a key part of the GREAT strategy to promote tourism that brings in UKTI and the British Council. It is about celebrating everything great about Britain. A few months ago in New York there was a major presentation as part of the GREAT strategy of Britain’s modern music interest. One part of the GREAT celebration is King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut; it is not quite a cabin, but it is getting there. It is one of the great venues for modern indie bands. In case noble Lords do not believe that I have been to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, I have. I confess that it was for a very nice lunch, but if my favourite indie band, the Black Hand Gang, plays there, I will be first in the queue.
The reason I make these points is that we are blasé about the fact that we have all this. The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, is in his place. The Last Night of the Proms is a global phenomenon. I have watched it in far-distant corners of the world; it brings a focus and a determination to people to visit this country. In the world brand index we are the fourth best nation for culture out of 50. That is partly driven by our ranking third for contemporary music, films, art and literature.
That sounds like a great story, but it could be a much better story. We are not doing as well as we could for music tourism. We need to have more resource behind promoting our music tourism. We need to address the visa issue. The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games were a wonderful marketing opportunity. Music tourists spend more than most other tourists. Overseas music tourists account for 5% of music tourism but 18% of music tourism spend. We need to encourage more people to come here to benefit from what we have to offer in our musical offering. As the noble Lord, Lord Storey, pointed out, it is very interesting that it is Brazilians, New Zealanders and Norwegians who come here. I have come across many young people all over the world who would love to be able to come to Britain. Some of the challenge is the visa issue and some is cost. However, I will not say anything about air passenger duty—although I just have. Issues such as those act as inhibitors. We have a huge opportunity to showcase our best.
I hope that when the Minister replies to this debate she will concentrate to some extent on what is going to happen to the budget of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. With my VisitBritain hat on, I am delighted that we have taken only a 5% cut in our budget. If we keep cutting and cutting, however, we are going to get to the stage where we lose the critical mass that allows us to promote industries such as the music industry all around the world. It is a potentially enormous earner. At the same time, it is here in Britain that many modern technological developments such as the iPod have allowed more and more people to listen to music. People have been able to buy into the nature of the culture that we have.
To coin a phrase, we have something that is great. Let us celebrate it, but let us not be gooey-eyed about how good we are at it. We can be better—we can be world leaders. We have the talent, the determination and the worldwide focus. Let us make this a key pillar of our tourism strategy into the future.
My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness with her great rallying cry for our tourism industry. I also thank my noble friend. In recent years, I have spoken many times on tourism—about how we can take advantage of its huge potential for economic growth—and on live music, especially in the context of deregulating many aspects of promotion and performance, but always as separate issues. However, I am delighted that, thanks to my noble friend, they have been brought together in one debate, and I agree with nearly everything that has been said so far.
That iconic Rolling Stones live concert in Hyde Park in 1969 remains in the memory of many people of my generation, even if we were not there. Major live music concerts have been an essential part of our enjoyment for many years. My noble friend rightly lauded the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies at the 2012 Games, which particularly showcased British music and demonstrated its international appeal. He also mentioned Glastonbury. Just in the past few days, we have been reminded of its recurring appeal to a huge audience. Then we have the BBC Proms, mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell. The last night, in particular, has a global audience. The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street parties in Europe and attracts about 1 million people each year.
There are also our destination venues, whether for opera, classical music or rock music, mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Black. The O2 has been the most popular live music venue in the world for five years running. Now, the Olympic Park is itself becoming a major venue for live music events. Then, of course, there are music destinations such as Liverpool. Is there anywhere quite like Liverpool, that place of musical pilgrimage and my noble friend’s native city?
The CEBR/Arts Council report made it clear that there was a very strong link between arts and cultural engagement and tourism. I welcome the news that UK Music will shortly be publishing a major update on the contribution that live music makes to tourism in the UK. As my noble friend mentioned, UK Music’s last report in 2011, Destination: Music—the Contribution of Music Festivals & Major Concerts to Tourism in the UK, first documented the significant contribution that live music makes to tourism. Because of this ground-breaking work, we now know that live music attracts millions of tourist visits each year and that these music tourists account for around 40% of live music audiences. Most of these visitors are domestic tourists and, although overseas music tourists make up a very small proportion of live music tourists, there is still massive potential. While overseas visitors account for 5% of music tourists in terms of numbers, they account for an amazing 18% of spending.
I am a trustee of the Barbican, home of the LSO. We know only too well the importance of tourists to our music events. As was shown by a recent survey conducted by BOP Consulting for the City of London Corporation, a significant percentage—some 7%—of bookings for ticketed performances at the Barbican are from abroad. They come from at least 106 different countries.
We all believe that the UK is the centre of the world for live music but we need hard facts to establish this and the role that live music plays in generating tourism. The new UK Music report will be very welcome, especially if it can demonstrate what proportion of live music audiences is comprised of tourists as opposed to the local population, and the economic impact of their visit to the live music event. I hope that this new information will really prompt the Government, DCMS, BIS, DCLG, Defra, the Home Office and the Treasury—all relevant government departments—to get together with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, UKTI, the British Council, the Arts Council and both the music industry and the tourism and hospitality industry to identify the real levers and barriers to growing music tourism at national level.
We need a properly joined-up strategy, particularly in terms of reducing regulation. In that context, I very much welcome the Government’s intention to improve on the Live Music Act by raising the audience level where no entertainment licence is needed to 500. The new higher audience exemption should have significant benefits for the tourism sector, where many businesses look to provide customers with live music as part of the overall visitor experience. I have a few suggestions for further government action regarding music performance and the issue of flyer distribution, which is dealt with by my Private Member’s Bill.
I welcome the fact that music is part of the GREAT campaign, but we absolutely need to make sure that our British brand is sold abroad. However, we still need to ensure co-ordination so that UK artists touring abroad can make the best use of networks provided by our British embassies, UKTI and the British Council. In that context, we should ensure that music and cultural industries are represented in trade missions. I am a great believer in the power and potential of British cultural diplomacy. We need to sort out the major issue with national insurance contributions for entertainers, on which HMRC is currently consulting. As the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, mentioned, we also need to sort out the perennial issue of visas for visitors to this country.
We need to take care to ensure that the late-night economy is able to flourish, and to tackle anti-social hotspots so that people feel safe when they go out. I am delighted that the late-night levy is reduced for pubs which join a community scheme, such as Purple Flag. For larger venues, we need to sort out the scandal of secondary ticketing and ensure that fans are not paying over the odds or being scammed by online ticket touts by going along the lines of the Olympics legislation, so that the bands and their promoters receive the full ticket price. At the end of the day we need to acknowledge in our IP policies the central importance of copyright to the recording industry, which makes the primary investment in artists’ development. That of course means, I hope, implementing the Digital Economy Act earlier than 2015.
Having visited the BRIT School a couple of times recently, we also need to make sure that the live music sector has enough people with the right skills—the subject of Darren Henley’s brilliant review. I very much welcome the resulting national plan for education and the establishment of the new music education hubs in particular. In addition to promotion and action at national level, it is clear from the recent live music roundtables conducted by UK Music that we need strong local strategies. There are some serious lessons to be learnt from local and regional successes, involving public and private sector partnerships.
My noble friend mentioned Liverpool, which is a prime example of how music has been used to attract visitors to a city. In London, I know that the mayor, building on the 2010 Cultural Metropolis strategy and the World Cities Culture Report is keen to promote London’s music heritage much further, which is greatly to be welcomed. He has conducted a London Music Education Survey and is keen to work on music tourism campaigns telling the great story of London as a global capital of music. PRS for Music Foundation has, over the past decade, supported a significant number of local and regional festivals both with direct funding and collaboration with other bodies, such as the Arts Council. There are some good examples, including the St Magnus International Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, and so on.
Such public-private partnerships reap important economic and cultural value to local communities across the UK, as we have heard from all around the House already today. I will, I am sure, be validated by the forthcoming UK Music report. With real understanding of the potential, both locally and nationally, we can unleash the power of music tourism for all our benefit.
My Lords, it is a privilege to follow the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, who has done so much for the cause of live music. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Storey, on obtaining this debate and introducing it with such flair. He considered starting with, “Yeah, yeah, yeah”, and I might just go with, “Hear, hear”, because I have agreed with so much of what we have heard so far.
This is an important and wide-ranging topic covering a plethora of related issues, which has proved quite challenging in thinking about how to focus my remarks. Music is a major element in the UK’s tourism offer, both for tourists within the UK and those from overseas. UK Music’s 2011 report on music tourism tells us that UK music festivals and concerts in 2009 attracted more than 7.7 million music tourists who spent more than £1.4 billion, boosting the UK economy by at least £864 million and sustaining almost 20,000 jobs. As the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, told us, although only 5% came from overseas, they accounted for 18% of spending.
It is clear that this is one of the UK’s tourism strengths. We have five major festivals in the international top 20 led, of course, by Glastonbury. The Showcase guide lists 578 music festivals in the UK. Wales, the land of my fathers, attracted 252,000 music tourists in 2009. The noble Lord, Lord Storey, also mentioned the musical focus of the Olympics and Paralympics ceremonies last year. He rightly asked what was happening to build on that in terms of a music legacy.
Focusing on classical music, my personal passion, we have six major opera companies covering Wales, Scotland and the north as well as London and the south-east. But in addition, we have a seemingly ever-growing number of smaller opera companies putting on a wide range of high-quality performances at all sorts of venues. Only recently, I attended the Wagner “Ring Cycle” in a former chicken shed in Longborough. There are some 70 established professional orchestras and ensembles, and between them they put on more than 3,700 concerts a year in the UK, as well as some 450 abroad. We have a number of fantastic classical music festivals. Among them are: the BBC Proms, with over 100 concerts attracting more than 300,000 people last year; Aldeburgh; Edinburgh; the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod; the Three Choirs Festival and, of course, the recent BBC Cardiff Singer of the World event.
It seems incontrovertible that music is important to tourism and that the UK does it well, but that raises two questions in the context of today’s debate. First, could we do better, as the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, asked, and, secondly, are there barriers to our success that could be removed? One of the difficulties of addressing such questions is that,
“the benefits of music tourism do not always show up as distinctly music-derived”,
to quote a recent report relating to Scotland. Success in this field is the product of a complex and interlocking infrastructure. That includes the organisations that provide the music, such as the orchestras, opera companies and festivals—not forgetting an enormous range of commercial bodies in the popular music arena, including the performers and musicians themselves.
One of the causes of our strength is surely our whole music education system, with nine world-leading conservatoires at its pinnacle. As the noble Lord, Lord Black of Brentwood, reminded us, they not only train UK students to world-class standards but attract talented students from overseas. The ability to hear top performers from all around the world is another factor that boosts UK music tourism. I would also like to mention the National Opera Studio, which runs master courses for young opera singers and pianists—repetiteurs. I would challenge your Lordships to attend an opera in the UK without finding at least one NOS alumnus among the cast.
Other elements of the infrastructure for music tourism include suitable venues for concerts and events—such as the country houses that have become such a feature of the opera scene—hospitality and catering, transport facilities, marketing campaigns so that potential visitors are made aware of the musical opportunities available, and all the necessary ticketing and access and customer support facilities. I understand that the Arts Council of Wales is looking at a possible digital music resource to provide information about music across Wales to help increase music tourism.
Let me suggest a couple of things that might enable us to do better. First, I am not aware of any mechanism—or at least I was not until the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, mentioned one—for taking an overall look at how to maximise the UK tourism benefits of the music sector across all the areas that I have mentioned. I gather that some other countries and regions, such as Ontario, have been successful in adopting a more strategic approach. Perhaps that might be achieved by designating a Minister with specific cross-departmental responsibility for promoting live music tourism, or even appointing a live music tsar.
Secondly, music tourism is disproportionately concentrated, as is so often the case, in London and the south-east, areas which attract almost half of all music tourists, whereas Wales accounts for only 3%, and Scotland for only 2%, just ahead of Northern Ireland. Could VisitBritain be encouraged to give greater emphasis to promoting music tourism outside London, working in a joined-up way with regional bodies such as Visit Wales to ensure that the benefits of such tourism are more evenly and widely spread?
Another question relates to removing barriers to success. There has been some good progress in this area, not least as a result of the Live Music Act, championed by the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones. I was going to say that the issue of visas for musicians seems to be less vexed than it has been, although two noble Lords have mentioned that as a continuing concern. I would mention two specific issues in the hope that the Minister will be able to comment on them. The first relates to VAT. The UK is one of only four EU countries that do not take advantage of the option to apply a reduced rate of VAT on visitor accommodation and one of only nine to apply the full rate on admissions to cultural attractions. So tourism, our sixth largest export industry, is the only one subject to VAT. Other countries, including competitors such as France and Germany, have gained additional investment, employment, particularly of younger people who are disproportionately represented in the tourism sector, and growth through applying reduced VAT rates in this area. It has been calculated that every pound invested by the Treasury in this way would generate £18 of extra inbound tourism revenue and other significant growth benefits.
The second issue relates to the carriage of musical instruments on aeroplanes. Musicians need to travel to perform, quite often by air. Yet there is no consistent policy about carrying even smaller instruments on airlines, and the ISM has collected more than 1,350 individual reports of difficulties faced by musicians when travelling with their instruments, including cases of valuable instruments being damaged beyond repair. I appreciate the Government’s reluctance to intervene in commercial matters, but even if they do not go as far as the US Government, which have now issued regulations to allow small musical instruments as hand baggage, they could at least put pressure on airlines to follow the welcome lead of easyJet in this area.
This debate focuses on the contribution of music tourism and the economic benefits that that can bring, but let us not lose sight of the ultimate value of music, as described in a quote attributed to Plato in the Times last month. Sadly, I have not been able to track down where he said, “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form”. We need more of that in the UK, even if it did not bring such significant tourism benefits with it.
My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Storey, on securing this debate. The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, mentioned the iconic Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park in 1969. Perhaps I should put on record the fact that I was there.
As we have just heard, music is not only important but a much underrated offer that we make to the rest of the world through tourism. When people come here for music tourism, they engage in making community and in being joined with others in a common culture through hearing a common language. Such things are very important for us to offer across the world as well as across the regions in this country. It is important that we do not just measure its significance in terms of economic impact, although that is important, but that we recognise a cultural, human hinterland that is enriched from Plato onwards and we must be proud of it and contribute to it.
The VisitBritain document, Delivering a Golden Legacy, identifies four principles to encourage this kind of tourism. The first is to recognise our international image, which is about heritage, arts and music—as the noble Lord, Lord Black, mentioned. The second is to develop an overall product so that performance, hotels, shopping and local businesses are all connected. The third is to be ambitious in our invitation and the variety that we offer. Fourthly, tourism needs to be embedded in other strategies for other sectors. Many noble Lords have spoken in this debate to illustrate some of those principles.
The UK Music report, Destination: Music, starts, as did the noble Lord, Lord Storey, in his speech, with Glastonbury. The research is based on concerts and events of 5,000 people or more. That is very important, but I want, in just a few brief words, to go to two other areas which fall below the radar of that kind of scale but which show the importance of music and culture for tourism.
They both come from the east Midlands, which is where I operate and which has the exact national average proportion of music tourists—that is, 5% of the tourist mix. We need to increase that of course. The first area is the story of the Buxton Opera House and the Buxton Festival. If any noble Lords are looking for some wonderful entertainment this weekend, I can tell them that the Buxton Festival is still in operation—you can go to its website. In 1976, a fairly decrepit building with “Opera House” over its door was on the verge of being turned into a cinema. Three years later, by 1979, local residents together with the Royal Northern College of Music and the Welsh National Opera—contacts in those places—opened the first Buxton Festival. It now has a turnover of £1.4 million and receives only 10% of its income from grants. I want to emphasise that, because many people look at the arts, especially music, and think that it needs very heavy subsidy. In fact, a mere 10% of the building’s running costs enable a turnover of £2 million into the local economy. We are not asking a great deal, but strategic investment can create such opportunities locally for music tourism to flourish. The Buxton Festival works through a partnership between local enterprise, VisitEngland, Visit Peak District and local businesses.
Of course, the opera house has to be very nimble in what it offers because it needs to run all year. It runs a programme that includes everything from Abba tribute concerts to opera and all the things in between. It has to be nimble and offer a very catholic range of music.
I have told this story because it has moved from 1979 to 2015, which is the projected opening date for the Buxton Crescent and spa hotel—a crescent that has been carefully restored and will become a hotel destination for international tourists in that part of England in 2015. It has taken all that time, from 1979 to 2015, to establish a festival, to establish international links and for there to be a demand to come and stay in that kind of quality of accommodation. I therefore urge the Government to take seriously not only the regions and the small scale but the need for secure and sustained support for such incremental growth that will be the backbone of a national policy for music tourism.
The second area that I want to mention but which, again, does not feature in the most recent report of UK Music is of course—and you would expect me to say this from these Benches—church music and especially cathedral music. We have recently launched in Derbyshire a diocesan tourism website, because churches are a key part of the fabric of the tourism offer and we need to be organised to present them attractively. A key bit of that is music, because churches are among the few places that you can go where there will be a guarantee of music of some sort or other. Just this last weekend, in the parish of New Mills, we have had a festival of choirs—five choirs making the festival over the weekend. On the same weekend, in a parish called Fairfield, there was a five-day music festival with blues, the vicar getting together an impromptu jamming band and all kinds of music to bring people in. Our cathedral, like others, has an extensive programme of concerts, organ recitals and lunchtime events.
I go to a lot of these things and I spent 10 years working in a cathedral. Something that strikes me all the time is that when one goes to the door after a concert, particularly of the English choral tradition, it is people from overseas who want to say how amazing that kind of music is. It is something they rarely experience live in other cultures. The English choral tradition and English church music are a great jewel in our musical armoury and we need to ensure, as part of a tourist offer, that we can make them available and support them in small ways. That 10% investment in the Buxton Festival is an example of how small support can create stability, incremental growth and an attractive offer.
I invite the Minister to comment not just on the large-scale music offer to tourists but on how the Government can encourage support for smaller-scale events such as the Buxton Festival and for the English choral tradition and English church music, something that is unique and right at the heart of how we are perceived internationally in terms of heritage, art and music culture. How can we make that a key part of what we offer? I want to finish by reiterating that I think our musical heritage is a key ingredient for encouraging international tourism. In an age of terror and despair, we have a rich gift to offer and we must do all we can to make it available and to secure its sustainability.
My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord on organising this music fest. The noble Lord, Lord Storey, told us that now is the time when music tourism is at its busiest. I quote the words of the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, who said that,
“our creative and cultural sector is such a vital element in delivering economic growth, by encouraging economic investment through tourism and business”.
As the noble Lord, Lord Storey, also reminded us, when responding to a debate last month in your Lordships’ House, the Minister told us that four in 10 leisure visitors to the UK cite heritage and culture as the primary motivation for their visit. This means that in 2011 more than 10 million inbound visitors to the UK engaged in some form of arts and culture. How much is related to music? UK Music commissioned research from Bournemouth University’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research. It told us that music contributes £864 million a year to the national economy with an amazing 19,700 full-time jobs. This, of course, includes all kinds of music. My particular interest is in tourism and classical music, partly because I have always felt that festivals of classical music are less disruptive and classical music tourists seem to spend more and stay longer. Also, like the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, I just like classical music.
There are classical music festivals all over the country. The Manchester International Festival is on at the moment. The Proms start tomorrow. Music festivals at Edinburgh and our other great cities certainly attract people who would not normally come. The noble Lord, Lord Storey, told us about Liverpool and there are a large number of smaller music events at stately homes, churches and cathedrals, and other buildings in towns and villages. My noble friend Lady Liddell told us about such events in Scotland and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby told us about the festival in Buxton, which I attended last year. All of this illustrates the power of music to increase the number of people who come to a tourist destination.
Certainly, Arts Council England is aware of this. It is investing £3 million in cultural destinations to boost international and domestic tourism to these special places, both to stimulate the local economies and to provide visitors with world-class cultural experiences. Surely one such destination is Aldeburgh, a place mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare. Of course, Aldeburgh would attract tourists without music because it is a charming seaside town on the Suffolk coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty, but music has transformed it into a world-class cultural and learning centre that attracts tourists throughout the year, contributing to the excellence of our musicians, about which the noble Lord, Lord Black, spoke. Music sustains a whole infrastructure of places to stay, eat, shop, play and hear music, learn and improve musical skills and develop talent, as well as all the other fringe activities—and all this with the attraction of being in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The point that I wish to make is that 66 years ago the festival was started by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears as a two-week event. Through hard work and clever and innovative management, Aldeburgh now attracts tourists not just for the two weeks of the festival but throughout the year. There is a prom season during August for holidaymakers, with proms featuring every kind of music. There are residences, masterclasses and orchestral and vocal development courses, and all of these involve concerts and are themselves a tourist attraction because of their excellence.
The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, spoke of the need for hard facts. I shall give him some. To give a measure of what happens at Aldeburgh, the number of tickets sold during the two-week festival is 25,000. The number of tickets sold through the year is 100,000, music bringing tourism all year round, and not only from Britain. At this year’s festival alone, audiences were from more than 20 countries. Some 117 journalists visited the festival, with 43 from abroad representing 16 countries.
I hope that the Minister will join me in welcoming this successful model and congratulate the staff on turning a two-week festival into a year-round attraction. However, that has not been easy. First, Aldeburgh is away from the amenities of London and other major cities. Secondly, overnight the Government removed its co-ordinating structure, the only one available in this rural area, by abolishing the regional development agency. It was abolished at a time when the year-long Britten centenary celebrations, as well as all the other activities, were being planned in association with various arts organisations, the BBC, tourist organisations, schools, transport and the 101 other things that you need to co-ordinate arts and tourism successfully—just the kind of local co-ordination about which the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, spoke.
Therefore, in addition to planning the music, a new organisation had to be set up—a destination management organisation to promote tourism on the Suffolk coast. Indeed, Aldeburgh Music must be one of the few arts organisations, and perhaps the first, to become involved in setting up such an organisation. Yes, the work is being endorsed by the Norfolk and Suffolk local enterprise partnership, but it is new and still pretty embryonic. Perhaps the regional development agency had its faults but, instead of removing it on an ideological whim, the right thing to do was to rectify the faults and maybe reinvent the RDA to build on what was there. I hope that the Minister can assure me that in future more thought will be put into these changes, and that the institution that is now being built up will be sufficiently independent so as not to become a political plaything with an uncertain lifespan but, hopefully, can look forward to 10 or 20 years of life to develop arts, heritage, culture and tourism on the Suffolk coast.
My noble friend Lady Liddell said that we have to do better. That may mean money but, in the overall scheme of things the amounts of money are small. So I have two suggestions. They have been made before. After taking money from the lottery for the Olympics, I hope that the Government will review the lottery distribution and be generous to music. There is also the question of tourism and VAT, as mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare. The Government are looking for growth. As other noble Lords have spoken, I have tried to show how music and tourism can deliver this. I hope the Minister will tell us how the Government will enable this. The right reverend Prelate reminded us that music raises our quality of life. There is another advantage. Music has shown itself to be an extraordinary driver of social mobility. We should all welcome that.
My Lords, it has been extremely pleasant to hear such endorsements of the profession of which I am delighted to be a member. I started off with a score in mind, but this concert, so ably conducted by the noble Lord, Lord Storey, has been through virtually all the possible movements. I am reminded that music is essentially a form of variation; everything is a variation of what has gone before. So I have torn up my score and I will, like all good jazz players, improvise on the themes that I have heard.
The noble Lord, Lord Storey, mentioned the Proms, which are about to begin, so for my first variation I would like to talk about the BBC, which I broadcast for and on which I have had my music played. I would like to compliment Roger Wright and his predecessor Nicholas Kenyon not only on building incredibly successful seasons, but on taking music into different spheres, whether they be film music, jazz, popular music or the musical. It is important that we are an all-embracing family.
The BBC does extraordinary work across various networks. However, I have always felt that praise is more credible if it is balanced by criticism. On this particular day, and on behalf of so many people who work for the BBC on the shop floor, I must say how outraged I am to read that, when those of us who work there are being cut back on the programme-making side, absolutely staggering sums have been given as golden handshakes. It is essential that the public have confidence in the BBC. They must know that when people get it wrong, whether in the Civil Service, the Government or the BBC, they are not simply moved sideways, but pay the price that most people have to if they make a huge mistake. Margaret Hodge has done a very fine job in focusing on this particular subject and holding people to account. My noble friend Lord Hall, with whom I worked very closely at the Royal Opera House, is now the Director-General. If anyone can turn that around, he will. The BBC is worth saving because it is a marvellous ship. The world—I say the world, not just this country—would be a poorer place without what the BBC achieves.
I shall move on to a couple of specifics. I would like to look at some of the ways in which music is allied to other arts, an example of which would be dancing. I was very much involved with the Royal Ballet and in fact I still am. One of the great problems we had at the Royal Ballet School was to do with visas. It was so difficult to allow young students to dance on the main stage. It is absolutely crazy that young people who are really gifted come into your school, but you are prevented from letting them get the experience they need on the main stage, either at the Royal Opera House or the Royal Ballet, because of what are essentially visa restrictions. I would ask the Minister to look at that. I know that some progress has been made, so I feel that there is a conversation carrying on.
While I am on this particular tack of asking the Minister to follow up on a couple of things, I will also mention the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, which represents everyone from Paul McCartney to Harrison Birtwistle. When somebody wants to commission a composer—I had a conversation about this with one of your Lordships recently—they say, “I have no idea what it costs to commission a piece of music”. The BBC is wonderful at this, but we need to disseminate music—to Buxton, to small groups, to churches and cathedrals, so that the new music being created will be the music of tomorrow. When someone goes to the academy, which is our representative, and asks, “Can you give us some idea of how much money is involved?”, it has to answer, “We’re not allowed to tell you”. That is because the Office of Fair Trading has said, “Because you are not a union, you cannot give guidelines”—and they are only guidelines. I cannot believe that a Conservative Government feel that this is right. However, because our representatives are not a union, they are not allowed to give guidelines for fees. If that could be looked at, a great problem could be solved for us all.
We talked earlier about the regions. It is very easy to talk about the Proms and the Royal Opera House, so it was lovely to hear comments from all over the country—from Scotland, for example—about how important music is. We heard about Plato, and of course there is Socrates, who towards the end of his life intimated that rather than be a philosopher, perhaps he really should have been a composer. Music, in its abstraction, can do something that takes us further inside ourselves and allows us to see society in a wider and much more generous context.
The British Council has been mentioned. The work that is done overseas is terribly important. I am sorry to reference this to myself, but it is difficult not to. I was in Rome because the British Council had helped to put on a performance of an opera I had done with Ian McEwan; the British ambassador was incredibly helpful. That would not have happened without these people holding hands. I loved something that happened to Ian McEwan and me—of course, he is a far more famous person. We were walking through the streets of Rome and got lost while looking for a restaurant. Here is an example of British success. A Vespa screamed to a halt. “Ian McEwan!” said the driver. Ian was very taken aback. “I love your books”, the man said. “Is there is anything I can do for you?” “Yes”, Ian said. “You can tell us how to get to a particular restaurant that we’ve been looking for for three hours”. The fact that the arts are recognised abroad is terribly important. However, a recent UK survey shows that of London households, 36% had been to an orchestral concert more than once, although that is over a period of six years, it has to be said. I find that fantastic. The equivalent figure for other ticketed arts events is 21%. That is an amazing achievement which speaks volumes about what I feel that music can do.
I will finish by talking about sacred music. I completely agree with the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby that this is an area that has to be protected, but it is an area where we speak to a huge audience. I think of people like John Taverner or Arvo Pärt whose music can hold people; it is a way of connecting to something higher. You do not need to believe in God to feel that you are experiencing something that transcends everyday life. I have had some marvellous experiences in places like Durham and Ely, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s, where great architecture and great music combine to lift the soul in a quite staggering way. This surely is part of what tourists also find marvellous about this country. Which other countries have quite the same cathedrals that we have in East Anglia, for example?
Recently, I was very privileged to be able to write a short anthem for the enthronement of the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. He chose words from the Rule of St Benedict. The opening line of the anthem is,
“Listen, listen, O my child”.
We have to provide all our children with things to listen to.
My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Storey, on securing this debate and thank all noble Lords for their contributions. I should declare an interest, I suppose: I am a participant in the subject of this debate since I sing in the Parliament Choir, which is well known for attracting tourists to come and listen to us. I also sing in a festival choir, which gathers for a week and sings in a glorious cathedral of the type mentioned by the right reverend Prelate. I mention this only because it also has a tourist dimension which I do not think has been widely noticed yet. There seems to be a growth in choral tourism. When we sat down on the first day to rehearse the Mozart “Requiem” we were about to deliver we were joined by three substantial Russian contraltos who told us that they spent their lives going round the globe singing in such events. They popped up everywhere and after they had sung in our event they were going to Salzburg to sing in the Mozart “Requiem” that was being performed there. There is a tourism aspect to all aspects of music.
This is my third tourism debate and I have noticed that there is a tendency among those who participate—not that I wish to decry it in any sense —to indulge in a tour d’horizon of their favourite tourist spots or, in this case, the events they have enjoyed on a trip around the UK. This debate did not disappoint. We have a glorious range of opportunities, starting in Liverpool, reaching far up to Scotland and spending quite a lot of time in East Anglia. This is all to the good. We learn a lot more about what we should be doing in this House.
Tourism is exceptionally important to the UK economy. It is the sixth largest industry, third largest export earner, and accounts for around 9% of employment if its indirect impacts are taken into account. It generates more than £3 billion in tax for HM Treasury. It is a very interesting industry because it has quite wide economic effects. It employs a lot of non-full-time workers and more women than men. The proportion of jobs in tourism is much higher in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than it is in England and it encourages entrepreneurship as there are some 200,000 SMEs in the tourism sector, most with a very low turnover but still making a contribution.
Of course, there is a soft power dimension to this. Culture, which was defined in a recent Demos report as,
“the means we use to express ourselves through art, film, music, dance, literature and so on”,
provides a bridge between people. No less a person than the Chinese former leader Hu Jintao regretted the fact that although Chinese economic power was huge the soft cultural power still resides with Europe, in particular in Britain. It is something we have to account of and it is distinctively different from any other sector of the economy.
In the debates I mentioned, particularly those sponsored by the noble Lord, Lord Lee of Trafford, who has been a stalwart in this area, we have covered some of the problems affecting the tourism sector. As the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, reminded us, there is a need for a joined-up approach in government. Tourism is exceptional in the degree to which it cuts across different policy areas, organisations, government departments and geographic areas. The industry would like to see a cross-government co-ordination group, particularly on regulation. I would be grateful if the Minister might refer to that when she sums up.
A number of noble Lords brought up the problem of air passenger duty, which needs to be addressed. The issue of visas has come up every time we have debated this subject. The UK visa regime is a major drag on in-bound tourism and it particularly affects those involved in the music industry.
There is also concern about the way promotion of tourism is going. The current Great campaign will cost about £100 million but at the same time core grant in aid funding has been reduced and it is not clear yet whether the campaign is going to achieve its very ambitious targets. I would be grateful if the Minister could respond to that.
It is believed right across the industry, and we have heard it today, that British music has the ability to help VisitBritain achieve its goal of 9 million more tourists by 2020, but the debate actually asks the Government what plans they have to support and promote the impact of music on tourism. In other words, what is the structure under which these issues will be addressed? What can the Government do to help?
The noble Lord, Lord Black, reminded us that if the Government are to will the end they must also will the means. We have heard that we need a strategy to maintain our advantage in music tourism and to support the industry that drives it. That includes, I think, the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, about the Digital Economy Act and the issue that has been raised more recently in relation to the Intellectual Property Bill about the rather damaging split between the approach being taken by the DCMS and that now being taken by BIS. Can more be done with UKTI? That is an important issue, because that aspect of support and underpinning of export potential is very important.
We need a skills and training regime that ensures that a new generation of the people who actually do the work in many music activities—the riggers, the technicians and managers, as well as, of course, musicians—are supported. What do the Government plan on that? There is also a need to access specialist finance to ensure new music-related businesses develop and flourish. We know that bank lending is down, but what about the special additional problems posed in the hit-based industries, such as music and film?
One problem at the root of some of these issues is that it is very difficult to get a proper measure for the success or otherwise of the industry. Current SIC and SOC codes, which give us the national economic picture, are totally inadequate for music, especially live music. The millions of jobs supported by live music are coded in many different ways. According to ONS data, of the 10,000 businesses represented by PRS for Music and PPL, only 14% were accurately coded by ONS in the national accounts. That is something that the Minister should respond to when she sums up.
I took from today’s discussion a theme that we are good at music and also a good tourist destination but that we could do better. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say to inspire us about that.
My Lords, I, too, would like to thank my noble friend Lord Storey for securing this debate, and I pay tribute to all noble Lords for their contributions. Once again, noble Lords have demonstrated remarkable expertise. Mentally, we have travelled to Glastonbury, Liverpool, Northern Ireland, Fife, Aldeburgh, Buxton, Hyde Park and wider.
Noble Lords are right to emphasise the importance of both music and tourism. This morning, I see that the new inbound tourism figures from VisitBritain show that the tourism spend in Britain was 5% higher than in May last year, which is very encouraging. The ONS tourism satellite account shows that in 2009 tourism direct gross value added—and I asked my son, who does economics, what that meant—was £45 billion. Thus the tourism sector is approximately five times larger than the agricultural sector and about half the size of the construction sector. Further work by Deloitte suggests that, if the indirect economic effects of tourism are also included, gross value added could be as high as £115 billion. Domestic tourism is also hugely important, worth some 80% of tourism receipts.
Our rich culture marks us apart in the world, as the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, and others have emphasised. Music from classical to rock is a crucial part of Britain’s tourism appeal, both in terms of attracting visitors to the UK and encouraging spend while they are here. It forms a major theme of the GREAT campaign, which is the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever, to which the noble Baroness referred.
The music, visual and performing arts industry is undoubtedly one of our most successful creative industries. Our artists’ share of global album sales in 2012 was the highest on record, and British acts have now claimed the world’s top-selling album for five of the past six years. The industry estimates that it generates over £4 billion every year for our economy and helps to keep 300,000 people in work.
We have heard how Liverpool produced the Beatles, Manchester Oasis and London more recently Adele. As we see, we remain very much at the forefront—and when our nation celebrates, we celebrate with live music. Some 1.4 million people applied for one of 10,000 tickets to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012. My noble friends Lord Storey and Lord Clement-Jones and the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, noted the Olympics and Paralympics. The BBC reported that the opening and closing ceremonies of London 2012, which were absolutely stunning, sparked a big surge in music sales worth a retail value of over £2 million.
We are a nation of music lovers and festival goers. In 2011, the O2 Arena sold more tickets than any other arena in the world, making it the most popular music venue for five years running. As my noble friends Lord Storey and Lord Clement-Jones noted, Glastonbury is the biggest music festival in the world in terms of attendance by day, and contributes over £100 million annually to the economy. Even in times of austerity, I note that this year Glastonbury sold out in less than two hours.
Many noble Lords have paid tribute to UK Music and so do I. The UK Music report, Destination Music, published in May 2011—the first study of its kind—highlighted the important economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the United Kingdom. The study revealed that they attract nearly 8 million visits from those defined as music tourists who spend £1.4 billion during the course of their trip. While domestic tourists make up the majority of these audiences, the contribution of overseas visitors, who spend up to four times as much per capita during their visits, is also very important.
I read that report with great interest and noted the regional differences in the types of music that attract tourists in. It is not surprising that in London, as my noble friend Lord Black emphasised, classical music and musicals play a key part. Elsewhere, it may be festivals but in the north-east, for example, it is concerts rather than festivals. The noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, noted many across Wales and elsewhere and the need to study this further. UK Music has contributed to our understanding of this. The noble Lord, Lord Black, spoke of the need to support music teaching in the conservatoires which underpin our orchestras. It is important to recognise not only their cultural contribution but also the contribution that they make to the economy generally, and I can assure him of our continued commitment to the conservatoires. It is because of the need to understand the impact of music on tourism and the economy that we look forward to UK Music’s new report which will be issued shortly.
We are supporting these sectors. According to UK Music, many festival organisers credit the Government’s Licensing Act, which assisted in streamlining the local authority licensing process for big events, with helping to double numbers of music festivals over the past decade. My noble friend Lord Clement-Jones’s Live Music Act extended the range of live music performances that can take place without a licence and we are committed to doing more. My noble friend Lord Clement-Jones noted that we will extend the audience limit for some events at small venues from 200 to 500. He also asked me about his leafleting Bill. I was here at Second Reading and he made a very cogent case but he will also have noted the assurance from my noble friend Lord De Mauley that while we are still seeking to reduce litter—the purpose of the original legislation—we will also consider guidance issued to local authorities. I look forward to further debates.
The industry can also benefit from business funding schemes established by Government and is well represented on the Creative Industries Council which proposes ways of overcoming barriers to growth. We provide funding for music through the Arts Council England which will invest over £70 million a year in music organisations up to 2015.
Music also forms an integral part of our major cultural events. My noble friend Lord Storey should be extraordinarily proud of the success of Liverpool 2008 which was, arguably, the most successful European Capital of Culture for many years. That clearly continues in Liverpool and I look forward to hearing more about the band The Stopouts. So successful was Liverpool 2008, generating over £800 million for the local economy and an extra 3.5 million new visitors, that the Government launched the UK City of Culture programme. Derry/Londonderry, the current title holder, has carried on this cultural torch, and is cited by the international Rough Guides as one of the must-see destinations in the world for 2013.
The right reverend Prelate is right to emphasise the unique contribution this country has made to church and cathedral music. In this debate—a music fest, as the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, put it—we have seen how diverse our music heritage and current activities are. I can assure noble Lords of our awareness of this. In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, the Arts Council has invested more than £1.25 million in the Benjamin Britten centenary celebrations. I note that several noble Lords mentioned Aldeburgh.
Noble Lords have flagged up one or two key issues and I shall do my best to cover them as rapidly as possible. I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Liddell, for recognising the good settlements that DCMS managed to secure in very difficult circumstances. However, I hear what noble Lords say about the pressure on budgets.
I heard what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, said about VAT, and I can assure him that the Government have considered that matter. The Treasury could not see a causal link between VAT rates and tourism levels, so I am afraid that the Treasury is thus far not persuaded. No doubt, it will note what the noble Lord has said.
I was asked about visas. We are of course continually seeking to improve our visa system to balance the need to protect the UK with a strong desire to ensure that requirements are as clear and straightforward as possible. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, for recognising the efforts that we are making. I should point out that we are looking at improving the pre-entry visa experience as part of our tourism strategy. Our visa applications are now translated for the first time into the local languages of our key markets—namely, into Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Turkish and Thai. I am astonished that that was not the case previously. We had a target of delivering 90% of online applications by December 2012, which has been exceeded. At present, more than 95% of applications are carried out online. I can assure noble Lords that we are very much aware of the importance of this area.
My noble friends Lord Clement-Jones and Lord Storey, and the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, asked about a national strategy for music. I can assure my noble friends that music is a key part of the strategies in a number of organisations that work closely together to further the interests of our music sectors. The Arts Council’s strategy, set out in Achieving Great Art for Everyone, includes music as an integral part of our creative industries. It is also well represented on the Creative Industries Council. We also have our national plan for music education, which delivers £196 million for music education hubs. In February this year, the Arts Council and VisitEngland announced a strategic partnership outlining priority areas on which the two organisations will work together. Music is integral to our GREAT campaign whereby the issues facing the promotion of music can be considered. A strategy is indeed being brought together.
My noble friend Lord Clement-Jones emphasised the importance of the promotion of music abroad by trade envoys. He will know that my noble friend Lady Bonham-Carter is newly appointed by the Prime Minister as a trade envoy for the creative industries. I know that she regards this work as very important. I gently point out to the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, that this is not a Conservative but a coalition Government and that I happen to be from the other part of that coalition, as is my noble friend Lady Bonham-Carter, who was appointed by another part of the coalition, the Prime Minister. We achieve most by working together. I can also assure the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, of our great support for the BBC, which was echoed in the Chamber when he spoke today. We have confidence that the issues that he has raised will be addressed by the BBC. The noble Lord asked me to look into guidelines on fees, and I will do so.
I realise that my time has run out. If there are any other issues that I have not addressed, I will answer those by letter. It has been an extremely interesting and enlightening debate. Noble Lords have made extremely clear the contribution of music both to our culture, not least as expressed by Plato, and to our economy, and how music plays its part in contributing to tourism, and we welcome that enormously.