20 December 2023

HSBC UK data: Live event sales steal the show in 2023

The number of live event transactions stood at 1,094,528 (January 2020) but has more than doubled to a chart topping 2,523,737 in August 2023, after falling to 197,919 (April 2020) during the pandemic.

The average customer is currently spending between £50-£60 a month on live events, whilst females are more likely to purchase live event tickets than males – 58% vs 41%.

Theatre productions hogged the limelight with a 117% monthly rise in transactions from 252,323 in January 2020 to 547,599 in May 2023. This year will exceed that with total transactions standing at 4,093,882 as of end November 2023.

Taking centre stage is Ambassador Theatre Group with 163,004 transactions over the last year, followed by Rock City in Nottingham with 96,878 transactions this year.

Music festivals are also popular with research conducted by HSBC UK1 revealing that only 15% of people have reduced their spending on music festivals this year, compared to 42% cutting back on clothes shopping, signalling it’s a luxury that people are ‘never going to give up’. But with tickets in high demand, buyers should be aware of fraudsters posing as sellers and posting ads for previously ‘sold out’ events on social media or online marketplaces.

Theatre productions have seen a 117% monthly rise in transactions

Pella Frost, head of everyday banking at HSBC UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see our customers enjoying the return of live events after the pandemic closed the curtain on some of our favourite shows.

“It’s clear that despite the current cost climate consumers really value these experiences, but we urge everyone to remain vigiliant and always purchase their tickets from official sources. Purchase scams are on the rise, especially at this time of year, so remember, if the price is too good to be true it’s most likely a scam.”

We have expert teams working around the clock to identify suspicious transactions, but people can also help protect themselves by taking note of fraud warnings when making payments, and keeping up to date with the latest scam warnings which are highlighted on our latest phishing and social media scams web page or through our Fraud and Cyber Awareness app (on both Android and iOS).

Remember to:

  1. Buy tickets only from the venue’s box office, official sellers or reputable fan sites
  2. Don’t click on social media, text or email links or attachments offering tickets, as they could link to fraudulent or malware sites
  3. Avoid paying for tickets via bank transfer
  4. Check sellers’ privacy and returns policies
  5. Keep receipts until after the event

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Langston, HSBC UK Press Office: 07384 792 248 / hannah.langston@hsbc.com

Note to editors:
1Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of HSBC UK. Total sample size was 2198 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22 - 23 November 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $3,021bn at 30 September 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.