Leading Demand Indicators: New events in the United Kingdom up by 84% on last month

Published on July 29, 2021
Bryan Harris
Enterprise Accounts Lead for EMEA

Large events across the United Kingdom (UK) have experienced a significant surge in the last month, primarily in England where almost all restrictions were lifted on July 19. New events are up by 84% compared to June 2021, with much of this recovery in England and Scotland.

The UK is nearing a 80% recovery in August, comparing August 2021 to August 2019. The most active cities in the last week are London, Nottingham, Bristol with Scotland’s Glasgow and Edinburgh also in the top ten. So far, sports events are being scheduled more than any other kind of event, as well as making up many of the largest events.

Each country within the UK has had a different experience of the pandemic, as well as a distinct event industry prior to the pandemic. All four are recovering, but England is particularly of interest to demand planners as it is soaring past its pre-pandemic event levels as a giant wave of pent up demand is released.

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Significant upcoming events in England in August and September include:

  • London Pride Parade on September 11 with 800,000 people expected to attend

  • London Design Festival on September 18 to 26 with 744,000 people expected to attend

  • Blackpool Illuminations in Blackpool from September 3 to January 2022 with 3,500,000 people expected to attend throughout that period.

  • BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall from July 30 until September 11 with 240,000 people expected to attend throughout that period.

  • Affordable Art Fair Hampstead in Hampstead Heath from September 15 to 19 with 185,000 people expected to attend

  • The Reading Festival in Reading, England from August 27 to 29 with 69,000 people expected to attend. 

England’s event recovery has been progressing towards 2019 levels for several months now. The government is also exploring ways to encourage the return of large events, such as vaccination offers for a major upcoming climate conference in November. In June we published a report on the overall trajectory, including the impact of the extended lockdown rules.

Sports-led event recovery

So far, sports events are dominating the events booked in this June across the UK, followed by concerts and community events.

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Scotland’s event boom is the biggest development in July 2021

While England is scheduling in new events the fastest, Scottish events sudden surge in July is the most notable development in the UK this month. As the second most populous country in the UK, its proportional event return rate has been lower given the Scottish government’s pandemic management.

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In May to June 2021, 400 events were scheduled in Scotland. In June to August 2021, 859 events were scheduled. The transition of Scottish restrictions easing from level 1 to level zero on July 19 has been accelerating the country’s event sector recovery, which will be welcome news for local communities and businesses craving a return to normal.

A selection of the upcoming significant events in Scotland in August and September 2021:

  • TRNSMT Festival across Glasgow city from September 10 to 12 with 120,000 people expected to attend

  • Truckfest Scotland at the Royal Highland Centre from September 18 to 19 with up to 48,000 people expected to attend

  • Premiership - 1st Phase - Rangers vs Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 29 with more than 39,000 people expected to attend

  • Biffy Clyro concert in Glasgow on September 9 with 40,000 people expected to attend

  • Let’s Rock Scotland Festival at Dalkeith Country Park on August 28 with 30,000 people expected to attend

As we have seen in the United States, and also in England, event recovery rates can vary wildly by state, region and city. For example in Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh are scheduling the most events but at different rates.

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The charts above shows the new events of 300 or more people that have been booked in between January 2021 to October 2021.

Why tracking events per key location is critical as UK events return

As events return, hard-hit businesses have the opportunity to soak up as much of this wave of demand as possible. But it’s also a challenge - many businesses have had their demand patterns completely upended by the pandemic, and are struggling to forecast demand in these chaotic recovery times. This makes tracking impactful events around key locations all the more important, so you can align inventory, pricing and staff to actual demand, rather than guessing or basing your future plans on your transactional data from the last few months. 

Wales and Northern Ireland also exhibiting distinct recovery patterns

We will explore both Wale's and Northern Ireland's recoveries in more detail in upcoming reports, with Northern Ireland reaching closer to its pre-pandemic levels so far.

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This report outlines the general trajectory and trends of event recovery across the United Kingdom. To make the most of events in your forecasting, you will need to use programmatic solutions given what dynamic and large datasets event data can be. 

PredictHQ is supplying our customers with impactful events across the world, both verified and standardized, from 19 categories in one API. To find out how leading companies such as Uber, Domino’s, and major hotel chains are using this data, explore our use cases

We will be releasing monthly editions of this Leading Demand Indicators report. Sign up to receive it in your inbox as soon as it’s published.