In today’s economy there are few industries that are consistent money-makers; one of those few is the live music business. Cities that have robust music scenes see a real economic benefit. Music tours – whether as one-off concerts or as parts of festivals – make money for everyone involved.(“How Cities benefit from helping the music industry grow,” http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2015/05/article_0009.html; “Live Music Measures Up,” http://livemusicoffice.com.au/live-music-measures-up-an-economic-impact-analysis-of-live-music-in-ontario/)
Everyone – including the city that houses the venue.
Case in point: the Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA. Never heard of it? That’s not really surprising. The Pavilion is an outdoor venue built in a town of just over 76,000. Scranton relied on the ski industry for much of its revenue, but found that the off-season was hard to take. Thus, at the cost of millions, they built the Pavilion, an 18,000 seat outdoor amphitheater.
The Pavilion is programmed by Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter. In 2015, the venue hosted 13 concerts, a trade show, and two other special events. To do this, Live Nation employs five people full-time and 250 during the event season with an operating budget of $12 million (nearly 85% of which remains in the region).
Those 13 concerts drew approximately 214,000 people (an average of 16,462 per show – 92% occupancy), the vast majority of whom were from out of the region. During 2015 Live Nation paid well over $1 million in property and earned-income taxes.
But the benefits are much bigger than that. In a study conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, it was found that the venue added more than $32 million to Lackawanna County’s economy. (“Study: Live Nation Added $32.4 million to Lackawanna County Economy in 2015,” http://citizensvoice.com/news/study-live-nation-added-32-4-million-to-lackawanna-county-economy-in-2015-1.2095569).
Do you know any other cities of about 76,000 that could use at $32 million shot in the arm?