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Crescendo in popularity for Scotland’s live music scene

9th September 2015

Non-classical live music has overtaken theatre to become Scotland’s most popular cultural pastime. 34% of adults watched live music in 2014 – up from 31% the year before.

According to the latest Scottish Household Survey, 73% of adults attended a cultural event in 2014 – up from 72% in 2013. The popularity of all activities grew or stayed steady, except visiting libraries, which dropped slightly. After non-classical live music, the most popular cultural pastimes were trips to the theatre, museums and historical places. Historical attractions saw the largest increase in popularity of 3%.

Participation in cultural activities also grew slightly – 79% of adults participated in 2014. By far the most popular form of cultural participation was reading for pleasure at 68%, followed by creative computer-based activities, crafts and dance.

Women are more likely than men to attend or participate in cultural activities, although more men played or composed music and took photographs or made films for artistic purposes. Cultural attendance was highest among younger age groups. Young people are largely responsible for the popularity of non-classical music – 46% of 16 to 24 year olds attended a live music event in 2014, while more people aged 25 to 44 attended theatre than any other age group.

Adults from the least deprived areas, who have a degree or professional qualifications and good health are the most likely to attend or patriciate in arts and culture. A report published earlier this year analysed the barriers to cultural engagement in Scotland and found a lack of interest was the most often cited reason for not attending. Poor health was cited by 28% of non-attenders.

Read more on the Arts Professional website

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