As we know, the live event industry has been through a lot over the last few years. We experienced notable changes in industry stats from 2019 to 2021 including a large jump in average $/head and an increase in the percentage of fans buying merchandise (growing from 11% in 2019 to 19% in 2021). In this post we go into more detail on what those metrics look like for 2022.
With over 130,000 shows in 2022 run through atVenu, this year’s average $/head is currently $8.13. Although it has dropped 4% from 2021, it is still up 46% from 2019.
Should we be concerned that this year's $/head is lower than 2021? The quick answer: No.
When restrictions started to lift in 2021, venues began to open with limited capacities and slowly ramped up over the course of the year. Many small, indoor venues weren’t allowed to operate until much later in the year. With limited venue availability, fewer small to mid-cap bands were able to book shows which resulted in a higher percentage of 'big named artists' touring relative to smaller.
In 2019, 17% of all shows had an average attendance of over 5,000. In 2021, it jumped to 37%. This year, venues of all sizes were open and could operate at full capacity allowing more artists to tour again. This leveled the distribution of shows by artist type and reduced the percentage of shows with attendance of over 5,000 to 23%. This change in concentration of show attendance and size of artists touring created a more normalized live event environment with a broader data set of merchandise sales. It would be expected that the average $/head would drop with this larger pool of shows, but that it only decreased by 4% is a very strong indicator of continued fan demand for merchandise.
Breakdown of Shows by Attendance Grouping
What about fan interest in merchandise?
The percentage of fans that buy merchandise remains consistent and strong.
The overall average percent of fans who purchase merchandise at concerts continues at an all time high of 19%. That's almost double 2019's average of 11%. Even with the normalization of this year’s type of concerts, fan demand for merchandise has not wavered.
Summarizing 2019, 2021, and 2022 stats.
In January we will release our full Year in Review: 2022 edition with much more detail. Stay tuned!