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US Live Entertainment Venues market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Live Entertainment Venues market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?


Live entertainment is defined as a form of entertainment that requires consumers to travel outside the home and purchase a ticket to attend. Online streaming is discussed as it relates to events that are performed for a live audience and may be streamed to online viewers as well.

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has defined live entertainment venues to include theaters, clubs, arenas, amphitheatres, and outdoor/festival venues. Sports are excluded from the market size and consumer data and are only discussed in relation to marketing strategies, innovations, and leading companies.

Throughout the Report, those who have attended live entertainment events in the last 12 months are referred to as “attendees,” “fans,” “eventgoers,” and “guests.”

This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Live Entertainment – US, December 2014, as well as Mintel’s Entertainment Venues – US, December 2013.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Dana Macke, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles & Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

As streaming music subscriptions replace album sales, recording artists hit the road to generate income from touring. This has led to an abundance of exciting live shows to choose from in the past few years, including record-breaking concert tours. Fans continue to show their enthusiasm for the live entertainment experience by attending, recording, and sharing their event experiences. Although ticket resale sites give fans a second chance to see their favorite performers, the prevalence of ticket bots and service fees discourage some from attending. Dana Macke
Associate Director - Lifestyles & Leisure

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • High ticket prices limit audience potential
              • Figure 1: Top barriers to live entertainment attendance, September 2016
            • Nearly half reluctant to spend on extras
              • Figure 2: Spending on extras, September 2016
            • Reaching key consumers may be challenging
              • Figure 3: Promotional tactics, September 2016
            • The opportunities
              • Opportunities for marketers among all segments of attendees
                • Figure 4: Live events attended – Frequency of attendance, September 2016
              • Event attendees can help share the love
                • Figure 5: Second screen experience, September 2016
              • The ticket purchasing process is in need of an overhaul
                • Figure 6: Attitudes toward live entertainment, ticket services, September 2016
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Continued market growth expected
                  • Long-term growth trend in ticket sales
                    • Average ticket price is higher than ever
                      • Potential challenges ahead for secondary market
                        • Entertainment venues may be able to do more to boost revenues
                          • Improving economy boosts live entertainment
                          • Market Size and Forecast

                            • Strong growth in the live entertainment market
                              • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of live entertainment market, in millions, at current prices, 2011-21
                              • Figure 8: Total US revenues and forecast for live entertainment, at current prices, 2011-21
                          • Market Breakdown

                            • Live event attendance remains steady over time
                              • Figure 9: Share of adults who attend live events, July 2007-August 2016
                            • North American ticket sales continue to rise
                              • Figure 10: Total tickets sold (top 100 North America concerts) In millions, 2001-15
                            • Price increases bolster the market
                              • Figure 11: Average ticket price (North America) – In dollars, 2001-15
                            • Concert ticket grosses increase three-fold
                              • Figure 12: Concert industry ticket sales (North America) – In $ billions, 2001-15
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Poor music sales belie strength in concert revenues
                              • StubHub provides a boost for eBay
                                • Movie theaters focus on ancillary revenue streams
                                  • Figure 13: Total US movie theater revenue breakdown, at current prices, 2011-21
                                • “Bro-chella” leaves women wanting more
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Wage growth can stimulate the market
                                    • Figure 14: Three month moving average of median wage growth, January 1997-September 2016
                                  • Millennials appear on firm financial ground
                                    • Figure 15: Personal financial situation, by generation, January 2016
                                  • Consumers invest in the experience
                                    • Figure 16: How extra money is spent, January 2016
                                • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                  • Older Millennials ready for ’90s nostalgia
                                    • Genre blurring provides live entertainment opportunities
                                      • The ticketing process is ready for a revamp
                                        • Venues generate loyalty through memberships
                                          • Bags get vetoed and phones locked up
                                            • Some festivals falter in a crowded marketplace
                                            • What’s Working?

                                              • Nostalgia events bring in a new (old) crowd
                                                • Art imitates art
                                                  • Figure 17: Game of Thrones – Live at the SAP Center on March 29, 2017
                                                • The popularity of Hamilton drives theater membership
                                                  • From stage, to screen
                                                    • Theaters incentivize young members
                                                      • Big artists squeeze into small spaces
                                                        • Artists insist on ‘no phone zones’ with Yondr
                                                          • Creative partnerships can draw the right crowd
                                                          • What’s Struggling?

                                                            • Ticketmaster’s make-do is a miss
                                                              • Safety concerns heighten security efforts
                                                                • Some festivals fly, where others fall
                                                                  • Ticket bot biz kills the buzz
                                                                    • Low supply and high demand drives the counterfeit ticket market
                                                                    • What’s Next?

                                                                      • Big data helps pair artists and fans
                                                                        • Those who can’t, live stream
                                                                          • Dynamic pricing helps to fill the house
                                                                            • Groupmuse brings live entertainment into the home
                                                                              • Concerts unlimited
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Parents, men, and Hispanics are all key targets
                                                                                  • Non-music festivals are the leading live entertainment event
                                                                                    • High prices keep some from participating
                                                                                      • Friends and family spread the word
                                                                                        • The performance is only part of the live entertainment experience
                                                                                          • Extra amenities are a tough sell
                                                                                            • Ticketing process leaves much to be desired
                                                                                            • Frequency of Attendance

                                                                                                • A significant share are frequent attendees
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Live events attended Frequency of attendance, September 2016
                                                                                                • Parents, men, and Hispanics have a packed calendar
                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Frequency of live event attendance, by key demographics, September 2016
                                                                                                • Older crowd more likely to stay home
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Frequency of live event attendance – No attendance, by age, September 2016
                                                                                              • Live Events Attended

                                                                                                  • Food fests provide a non-music outdoor alternative
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Types of live events attended, September 2016
                                                                                                  • Men drive the market for live events
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Types of live events attended, by gender, September 2016
                                                                                                  • Hispanic adults attend a variety of events
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Types of events attended, by Hispanic origin, September 2016
                                                                                                  • Parents participate beyond children’s events
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Types of events attended, by parental status, September 2016
                                                                                                • Barriers to Attendance

                                                                                                    • Price is a key constraint for live entertainment
                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Barriers to attendance, September 2016
                                                                                                    • Women cite affordability as a main deterrent
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Barriers to attendance – Select items, by gender, September 2016
                                                                                                    • Even high-income adults may not budget for live events
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Barriers to attendance – Affordability, by household income, September 2016
                                                                                                    • Busy schedules keep parents at home
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Barriers to attendance – Select items, by parental status, September 2016
                                                                                                  • Promotional Tactics

                                                                                                      • Word of mouth drives live-event attendance
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Promotional tactics, September 2016
                                                                                                      • Opportunity to target more men with newsletter campaigns
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Promotional tactics, by gender, September 2016
                                                                                                      • Younger attendees searching across channels
                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Promotional tactics, by age, September 2016
                                                                                                      • Traditional promotional tactics may appeal to Hispanics
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Promotional tactics, by Hispanic origin, September 2016
                                                                                                    • Mobile Communication and Digital Documentation

                                                                                                        • Sharing is an important part of the live entertainment experience
                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Second screen experience, September 2016
                                                                                                        • 18-34s more engrossed in digital activities
                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Second screen experience, aged 18-34 versus average, September 2016
                                                                                                        • Frequent attendees are engaged on their devices
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Second screen experience, by frequency of attendance, September 2016
                                                                                                        • Millennials have a range of digital behaviors
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Second screen experience – Select items, by younger/older Millennials, September 2016
                                                                                                        • Venues may consider the power of UGC
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Second screen experience – Posting and tagging, by age, September 2016
                                                                                                      • Spending on Extras

                                                                                                          • Extra amenities appeal to select eventgoers
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Spending on extras, September 2016
                                                                                                          • Men more likely to spend on the experience
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Spending on extras – Select items, by gender, September 2016
                                                                                                          • Willingness to spend is a function of age over income
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Willingness to spend – At least one item, by household income and age, September 2016
                                                                                                          • Parents make a night of it
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Spending on extras – Select items, by parental status, September 2016
                                                                                                        • Attitudes toward Live Entertainment

                                                                                                            • Ticket prices challenge frequent attendance
                                                                                                              • Smaller venues preferred
                                                                                                                • Live streaming offers a good alternative
                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Attitudes toward live entertainment, September 2016
                                                                                                                • Young men the most likely to pay above face value
                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Attitudes toward live entertainment – Paying more than face value, by age and gender, September 2016
                                                                                                                • Hispanics are willing to out-bid on tickets
                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Attitudes toward live entertainment – Paying for tickets, by Hispanic origin, September 2016
                                                                                                                • FOMO felt among younger adults
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Attitudes toward live entertainment – Fear of missing out, by age, September 2016
                                                                                                                • If parents can plan, they can pay
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Attitudes toward live entertainment – Select items, by parental status, September 2016
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Total US revenues and forecast for live entertainment, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Total US revenues and forecast for live entertainment, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Share of adults who attend live events, July 2007-August 2016