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Music is fuelling creativity and giving fresh optimism for Brits during lockdown

  • Lockdown has proven to be a time for discovery, as almost 2 in 5 (38%) Brits have been listening to new music
  • From producing tracks to writing lyrics, 1 in 8 people have made their own music during lockdown
  • The soundtrack to lockdown is pop, as over a third of Brits (34%) tune in to this mood-boosting genre to help get them through lockdown, followed by rock (26%) and R ‘n’ B (15%)

LONDON, 16th June 2020: 2020 marks the year Virgin Money begins its new investment in the UK’s music industry, with partnerships with two of the UK’s most prolific venues – London’s The O2 and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow – announced earlier this year, as well as a programme designed to support emerging talent launching next month. The company has conducted research to understand the impact of music on consumers during lockdown and has found that music has powered British optimism during lockdown, with over 23 million* Brits attributing music as being the creative force helping to keep their spirits high.

Music has inspired many of the greatest actions of solidarity and charity during Covid-19, but it is also the second most popular way people have been connecting with each other and building new social communities – ranking number two behind TV & Film as the most impactful source of happiness during lockdown. Music has had as much of an impact on the nation’s mood as catching up with friends and family, which shows how significant the role of music is in our everyday lives.

Almost half of the UK has been spending more time than usual with friends and family ‘digitally’ since lockdown. New technologies have made virtual gigs and creating playlists an interactive and more accessible experience, inspiring greater creativity and togetherness at a time when physical contact has been restricted.

Increasing our digital connectivity has seen a fifth of the UK attend a livestream or virtual gig, helped 2 in 5 people (38%) discover new music, and encouraged 1 in 8 Brits to create their own music, including learning instruments via online tutorials, streaming self-made DJ sets and producing records from home.

Critically, music has also been a source for improvements in mental health and in helping people develop stronger, more meaningful relationships. Over 28% of people say they have developed better relationships with people they live with through shared virtual festivals and playlists, whilst 1 in 4 people concede they have opened up about things they usually wouldn’t talk about through music.

The transformative power of music is at the heart of Virgin Money’s ‘Brighter Music Moments’ campaign, which seeks to help its customers discover the most exciting new British music through an innovative new talent pathway due to launch in July, Virgin Money’s Emerging Stars programme, and to create memories with friends and family through virtual experiences, unforgettable live events and exciting content.

Helen Page, Group Brand and Marketing Director at Virgin Money says: “COVID-19 has been deeply unsettling for British people with existing rituals dislocated and routines of normal life losing their meaning. We’re firm believers in music having the power to transform moods during challenging times and this research proves that is true for UK consumers. With festivals cancelled and venues unable to open due to lockdown restrictions, music continues to be very much alive for us – the Virgin Money Emerging Stars programme will launch in July and we remain fully committed to supporting the British music industry through this difficult period. We can’t wait for artists to take to the stage again and for music venues to be back up and running.”

Toby Leighton-Pope, Joint CEO at AEG Presents UK says: “An unintended consequence of lockdown has meant that although we have been pulled apart physically from our loved ones, in many ways we’ve come closer together as a community. Online quiz nights, poker games, endless zoom meetings and online music streaming sessions have shown us how much we need contact with each other. Many people have turned this lockdown into an opportunity to be more creative and overall, we’ve risen to this challenge. We’ve seen artists collaborate to make new music, incredible charitable efforts by musicians and fans continuing to get behind the music that they love.”

When it comes to what people are listening to during lockdown, pop music (34%) tops the charts as the most popular genre Brits are tuning in to. This is followed by rock (26%) and R ‘n’ B (15%). However, the younger generations are turning to more recent breakthrough genres, as 1 in 8 (12%) 16-24-year-olds said they have been listening to K-pop and grime to help get them through these unsettled times.

The extra time at home has had a positive influence on our behaviours, health and creativity, but with the government now starting to ease lockdown measures, a fifth of Brits are enthusiastically looking forward to the return of live music and re-opening of nightclubs to help create and share memories together.

For more information please contact Laura Higgins at laura.higgins@cybg.com, +447483 333 699 or Anissa Harb at anissa.harb@caa.com, +447762 860 086.

Follow Virgin Money on Twitter to stay up to date with future announcements.