When the UK government confirmed nightclubs would reopen on 21st June (later pushed back to 19th July), event tickets sold out instantly. Then when venues did reopen in July, promoters described the first few weeks as “bananas”.
Fast-forward five months on, the number of people buying tickets but not showing up to events is eight times higher than before. Artist manager Graeme Stewart said:
“You always had people that didn’t turn up, it was around 5% normally, but you’re getting as much as 40% no-shows for some gigs now. It’s an enormous problem, and it’s happening for anything that’s ticketed.”
This trend has increased artists’ guestlist capacity to encourage larger audiences at the events. Although venue owners are still receiving ticket sales revenue, the issue with no-shows is the money generally made behind the bar dramatically decreases, plus having to spend out on security for the number of tickets sold, resulting in lost revenue.
Sacha Lord, Parklife and Warehouse Project Founder and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said:
“We’re seeing a big drop-off, even at really hot, sold-out shows. It’s happening every single night, and it’s affecting all artists. The knock-on effects of this are phenomenal,” adding: “It’s decimating the whole industry.”
No-shows are happening due to varying reasons such as COVID concerns, having to isolate due to COVID, or in some cases, artists rescheduling shows or not being able to attend events results in fans deciding not to attend.