Three years after the pandemic wiped out the live music scene, fans are flocking again to see their favourite stars on stage, with Taylor Swift and Beyonce raking it in with tours that are giving local economies a boost.
Swiftmania is at an all-time high, and it is leaping from the stadium to the cinema, where a film on Swift’s Eras tour out Friday in over 100 countries worldwide has already clocked up more than $100 million in ticket pre-sales. The tour itself, which finishes in December 2024, is poised to become the first tour to make $1 billion.
According to Maria Psyllou, an economist at Britain’s Birmingham University who has written about the trickle-down effect of Swift’s tour, the six concerts in Los Angeles added $320 million to that county’s GDP.
“A big phenomenon,” was how New York Federal Reserve President John Williams described the Taylor Swift effect last month.
Queen B stings
The war in Ukraine is usually cited as a key factor for the cost-of-living crisis in Europe but in Sweden, the party held up as responsible for higher-than-expected inflation in May was none other than Beyonce.
Consumer prices rose by a higher-than-expected 9.7 percent in May year-on-year, with increased costs of certain goods and services, such as clothing and hotel visits, offsetting a decrease in electricity and food prices.
Michael Grahn, chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, said Beyonce’s first two dates on her first solo tour in seven years were probably to blame.
Tens of thousands of fans flocked to Stockholm for the gigs, adding between 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points to the inflation caused by hotel and restaurant prices, according to Grahn.
In its decade-long existence, K-pop boy band BTS – on pause as several members do their compulsory military service – has added billions of dollars to the South Korean economy.
The Hyundai Research Institute in 2018 estimated that the first entirely South Korean group to top the US and UK charts brought its country more than $3.6 billion in annual economic benefits.
In 2022, the Korea Institute of Culture and Tourism estimated each BTS concert made 1.22 trillion won (more than $900 million).
Beatles nostalgia forever
More than a half century after The Beatles broke up, Liverpool, the birthplace of its four band members, continues to attract nostalgic fans.
Beatles-themed museums, restaurants, souvenir shops and tours of key sites in their journey as a band, including the Cavern Club, where they started out, and the storied Penny Lane all contribute to Fab Four tourism estimated at 120 million pounds annually (nearly $150 million), according to the city’s council.
Liverpool is not alone in the pop nostalgia market.
Memphis in Tennessee, home to Elvis Presley’s former property Graceland, is another key site of pilgrimage for fans, while Jamaica is an essential destination for Bob Marley lovers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)