Report finds that 40% of ticketholders are not showing up to their music events

As the world continues to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, and countries impose different restrictions throughout the world, low attendance at music events remains an issue that promoters are trying to solve. A recent report from The Guardian finds that an estimated 40% of people are no longer attending the shows for which they have purchased tickets. However, the leading reason might not actually be due to the concerns of the pandemic.

The report from The Guardian explains that at the beginning of this year, once Covid restrictions for 2021 became revealed, the demand for shows instantly skyrocketed to the point where events sold out in a short amount of hours, and shows that happened right after the lockdown was “bananas,” according to a source in The Guardian report. But the problem has become that as the year continues, those shows that sold out aren’t seeing the expected attendance.

While you would expect this to be due to concerns about Covid-19, The Guardian mentions that many people who choose not to attend are either forgetting or making other plans instead.

“The first few events were bananas, but as time goes on, people are not as committed to nights they bought tickets to months in advance. Notice how no one’s posting pictures of the crowd? If they did it would be empty.” – Graeme Stewart, Artist Manager, The Guardian

But make no mistake about it, issues related to Covid-19 are still another reason why some ticketholders are not attending the events. The Guardian states that the ticketing app Dice has said almost 30% of ticketholders choose to get a refund when an event is either canceled or refunded.

“People are returning tickets a lot more frequently now than pre-pandemic. The pattern we have seen is that each time a show is moved, the person who bought the ticket is a lot less engaged about attending.” – Phil Hutcheon, founder and CEO of Dice, The Guardian

However, it is becoming increasingly hard to gauge how many people will request a refund. The uncertainty of this statistic jeopardizes smaller-sized venues as they do not have much wiggle room in their budget when it comes to staffing and concessions.

“It’s really hurting small venues that are reliant on every person being in the room.” – Will Rolfe, Promoter, The Guardian

While this is a problem across the entire industry more than just a problem with venues, The Guardian states that some genres, including electronic music, are finding more success during this time than others.

Image Credit: Drew Ressler/

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