Ticketmaster unveils State of Play: Dance music report


The State of Play: Dance Music report, produced by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics division in partnership with music and entertainment consultancy FRUKT and endorsed by AFEM: Association for Electronic Music

Ticketmaster research shines a spotlight on the ever evolving dance music culture in the UK.

The report revealed that:

  • One in six people in the UK have attended a dance event since 2012
  • Surprisingly, those aged 30+ make up 44% of dance music event attendees; over 40s make up 16%
  • A 500% increase in UK dance music festivals since 2000
  • Unsurprisingly Calvin Harris was named as the UK’s favourite DJ
  • Bedroom producer culture thriving


Full report available HERE

New research released today reveals that dance music culture is alive and well in the UK — with one in every six members (16%) of the British public having been to a dance event since 2012. The wide-ranging study also shines a spotlight on the huge growth of dance music festivals in recent years and points to a thriving bedroom producer culture in the UK.

The findings form part of Ticketmaster’s State of Play: Dance Music report, a comprehensive look into the UK and European live dance music events industry, which also shows that Brits are attending dance music events well into their 30s and 40s, spend £20 – £50 on an average night at a dance event (36% of dance attendees) and name Calvin Harris their favourite DJ.

The State of Play: Dance Music report, produced by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics division, surveyed 4,934 members of the British public including 1,017 dance attendees, and combined findings with ticket sales data to produce a wide-ranging set of insights into the industry.


Attendance of dance events

In the three years since 2012, one in six (16%) members of the British public has been to a dance event. Of these attendees, the vast majority attended a dance music event in the past year.

Club or venue attendees are the most likely to attend more frequently (close to a third of those who attended in the last year went to 5 or more of these events).

The results also reveal that dance music event-goers were almost three times more likely to have attended a music festival in the last year (63% vs 23% of the overall population). They were also almost twice more likely to have attended a music concert or gig in the last year than the overall population (78% vs 42%).

Age of dance attendees

Over 30s account for nearly half (44%) of dance attendees, whilst those aged over 40 make up 16%. The majority however, is under the age of 35 (71%).

16 – 24 year olds are the age group most likely to attend club events, with a quarter (25%) of this age bracket having been to one or more of those events. 25– 29 year olds are the most likely to go to Ibiza (11%) and those aged 20 – 24 are the most likely to go to dance festivals (24%).

Dance festivals, dance events in clubs and beach clubbing — how they compare

Events in clubs are the most popular type of dance event, with 60% of dance attendees having attended in the last three years, while 51% had been to festivals and 56% to beach clubbing destinations.

Of those who went to a beach clubbing destination, just under half (46%) have been to Ibiza — meaning that 3% of the British public has been clubbing in Ibiza in the last three years.

The results also reveal a high level of overlap, with 14% of dance attendees having been to all three types of events (festival, club event, Ibiza) in the last three years.

The rise of the dance festival

In the past 15 years, the number of dance music festivals in the UK has increased by 500%.

In the year 2000, there were only seven dance specific festivals — including Creamfields, Homelands and Futuresonic — whereas in 2015, there have already been 35, including South West Four, Gottwood and Outbreak.

Ticketmaster transactional data reveals a 29% increase in the number of more “mainstream” festival customers who purchased tickets for dance music festivals between 2012 and 2014 from Ticketmaster.


Dance fans’ favourite DJs

  1. Calvin Harris     11%
  2. David Guetta     8%
  3. Avicii                5%
  4. Tiësto               4%
  5. Fatboy Slim       2% 

Is dance music becoming more mainstream?

Thirty-five percent of dance attendees agree that dance music is becoming more mainstream — three in five of which think this is a positive thing.

Indeed, the favourite genres of dance attendees appear to point towards a mainstreaming or homogenising of tastes. Dance and pop tie for attendees’ favourite genre with 63% apiece, followed by rock (53%), rhythm and blues (47%), hip-hop (41%) and indie (41%). A quarter of dance attendees even name metal as one of their favourite musical genres.

The rise of the bedroom producer

The results reveal that one in 10 dance attendees also create dance music. As James Barton, president of electronic music at Live Nation argues in the report — in the same way that the stars of the past century inspired millions of young people to pick up guitars, the ready availability of today’s technology including apps, the tools for self-promotion and superstar DJs are inspiring the rise of the bedroom producer.

These budding producers are more likely to take the view that dance is becoming more mainstream when compared with those who do not create their own music (66% vs 32%). They are also more inclined to see this as a positive thing (80% vs 53%).


Ticketmaster Vice President of Insight Sophie Crosby said: “The report shows that dance culture in the UK is not only in rude health — it is truly evolving and is firmly part of the mainstream. It’s encouraging to see dance music becoming more accessible to the wider public with people of all ages and tastes enjoying what is on offer.”

James Barton, president of electronic music for Live Nation, said: “For every great super club, for every great superstar DJ, there is a kid in his bedroom trying to knock us off our perch. This generation is a generation of technology…and dance music is created with technology. The genre is always reinventing itself…it will continue to grow and evolve.”

In this context, a dance event is defined as a live event featuring dance/electronic music; either a dance music festival, an event taking place in a venue such as a club/warehouse or a getaway specifically for clubbing at a destination known for it, such as Ibiza, Ayia Napa or Mykonos.

Dance attendees defined as people who have attended at least one dance event in the last three years — 16% of the UK population.

To learn more about the thriving world of dance music download the full report HERE