Millennials and Live Music: Understanding Your Biggest Venue Audience

Kavina Kumar
Kavina Kumar

As the biggest group of music consumers of all the generations, it won’t surprise you that Millennials make up the majority demographic of customers, and therefore have the most significant impact on the success of your venue. As the biggest fans and most dedicated attendees of live gigs, they are also the most open-minded about new gig experiences. 

If you’re in the music business, it’s always good to know who you’re dancing with, so let us properly introduce you to the Gen Ys who consider music a part of their blood and are willing to pay the most for exceptional experiences that give their lives meaning. -Same.

In this article you’ll learn about Millennials and their impact on live music at your venue: 

  1. Why they are your essential venue audience
  2. What makes them tick
  3. Their value of shared experiences
  4. Pursuing a social, ethical focus
  5. Their reliance on technology
  6. and how to reach them
  7. Their beliefs in sustainability
  8. Ethics and social focus


To win hearts, stay tuned. 


Millennials are your BIGGEST audience

The Gen Y/Millennial age bracket falls from 1981 to 1996, sitting in the age bracket 26 to 41 in 2022, making them the most common age group to frequent our venues. The findings from one Eventbrite study demonstrated that 80% of Millennials felt live music experiences were imperative for helping them socialise, connect and find their place in the community and the world. 

As the super savvy, fast-evolving facilitators of live music, Millennials are your majority customers, who will be the first to try your new offerings, and can therefore make or break your reputation as a live music hub #trending. 

Millennials have many layers 

Millennials are also a complex bunch who don’t respond to traditional forms of marketing and rely heavily on social media and a solid moral compass to guide their loyalty to brands, artists, and especially the venues they call their second homes. 

They also get a bad wrap, having worn the titles like “lost generation” and the “selfish generation,” and Ok, their crowning creation of the selfie might appear as fairly damning evidence to support the statement. 

They also have a lower commitment to conventional concepts like religion, marriage, and house buying and trade them for demands around work/lifestyle/travelling balance. 

And who can blame them? After coming to maturity in undoubtedly unstable times where house-buying is a pipe-dream and petrol prices are the reason we’re giving up petrol, they have remained notoriously enthusiastic and carved out their own generationally defined path to a meaningful and sustainable life.

They are highly compassionate and generous 

These big-hearted softies can’t go past an opportunity to give back and do so even as they build careers from multiple income streams, freelancing, side-hustling, flexible workspaces, and creative endeavours that give those “starving artist” vibes. Regardless of their financial situation, they find fulfilment in giving back and are happy to pay more for sustainable options, donating to charities more than other generation groups.

They value QUALITY experiences 

Millennials place the most importance on shared experiences, cultural immersion, and travelling, even picking vacay destinations based on good music. Their need to find new and exciting experiences has a direct impact on their attendance at live music venues. 

A 2018 study on Millennial travel stats for the U.S. found that 85% of Gen Y will actively prioritise getting out of their comfort zones, seeking out new challenges and sources of entertainment that aren’t just fun but help them discover more about themselves. Millennials will go “all in” to find meaning and connection, and 66% said they would pay more for a better customer experience

What good is a music experience if it isn’t shared?

While it is crucial to their lives to make music a priority, Gen Y believes the adage that an experience isn’t much if it isn’t shared, going beyond just being in the crowd at a gig. With a whopping 97% of Millennials recording and sharing experiences on social media, they will attend live music events just for the opportunity to post about it. – If they didn’t post about it, it didn’t happen!

Music drives millennial’s decisions about travel  

An online survey on Gen Y travel patterns from travel agency eDreams found music to be the main consideration when choosing a holiday destination. Further, they would travel to another country to watch a favourite artist perform, with 40% wanting to attend music festivals abroad. 

The study also found that classic music styles like Jazz, country, and Reggae, most of all, inspired travellers to venture to New Orleans, Nashville, and Jamaica, as well as countries like Spain, the Caribbean, and Brazil to experience the grassroots and cultural elements that inspire these genres.  

Bring the live music culture to Gen Y’s doorstep:

Millennials clocked the most travel miles domestically and abroad over the past few years, even prioritising it during the pandemic, showing how far they are willing to go for an experience. So why not save them the trip by implementing themed live music with a local take on the best destination dining, with culturally fuelled music to match? Delve deeper than a classic hip-hop night and take your customers on a journey to the heart of Detroit, with decor, specialty cocktails, and merch to match. 

Or, become the venue that represents the heart of your city, so that when travellers come from far and wide, they’ll come to your venue first for an authentic experience, with the best in local music.  

If you host it and it’s meaningful and out of the box, they shall come. 

Millennials are technology-reliant for live music news and information

Though they don’t place as high an emphasis on cutting-edge innovation as Gen Z a.k.a the Zoomers, Millennials rely on a solid digital foundation to receive fast updates and news, firsthand. 

Gen Zs are probably the ones to thank for the imminent rise of the Metaverse, as 76% of Gen Zs vs. 73% of Gen Ys prioritise a company’s mission for continually evolving their technologies. While this stretch isn’t a large one, Millennials grew up evolving with technology, from cassette tapes to Alexa Play, whereas Zoomers grew up with one hand on a touch screen and an inherent understanding of TikTok that we’re still trying to wrap our heads around. 

So how do we reach them? 

Since they are so trendy, it’s important to stay up to date with what drives their search choices and daily habits through tools like Google Analytics, then combine that with a social element through targeted Facebook Ads, and other social media and music-streaming channels that they frequent.

 Since everything is so instant and overwhelming to the senses, it also means that you can use redirect tools to navigate your customers back to similar ticket sales or remind them to finish the purchase of ticket sales that they may have started.

Gen Ys believe in sustainability 

In the U.K. alone, A BBC report found that live music is responsible for 405,000 tons of greenhouse emissions, something set to rise now that live music is back on the table. Furthermore, a live music study from Live Nation uncovered that 82% of live music attendees implement an environmentally-conscious lifestyle and take actions to alleviate their impact from attending live events. 

Sustainability is a practice that should be expected from all of us really, but Gen Ys really made it the movement that it is, with 79% being loyal to companies that promote sustainability. And while it can be an added expense or inconvenience to employ better tactics, they are more than willing to pay more or go out of their way to seek out restaurants and venues and make a conscious choice to do their part. 

They value an ethical, social focus 

Fair work, equality, sexuality, discrimination, or failure to recognise and properly use personal pronouns are just the icing on the cake of the issues Gen Y refuses to sweep under the rug. 

In a climate of immense social unrest, Gen Ys are most likely to donate to charitable causes, participate freely in sharing knowledge and acknowledge systems of injustice. They are also not afraid to quit a job or ask for more money and won’t hesitate to write a review or call out individuals or companies that are not doing the right thing by the community. 

So wear your hearts on your sleeve

If you want a ride-or-die bunch of loyalists, this is your lot. Rallying for a cause is your way into the hearts of a caring bunch of individuals, so open up the dialogue and share more of your venue culture and inherent interests on your socials. Update newsletters, tip for a cause, or donate ticket-sale proceeds on behalf of your customers because if showing up for live music wasn’t going to do it for them, this will feel like their moral responsibility. 

 So do we understand each other? 

As venues continue hustling to keep up with changing consumer interests, one thing is for sure, live music, social consciousness, and sustainability will remain at the forefront of venue-goers minds, just as Millennials and live music will always go together. 

Understanding your market will help you reach it more efficiently and bring them into the experiences that drive their passion for life. Pretty soon, they’ll turn to you first, trusting that you’ll anticipate what they were looking for in a good night out, beyond the superficial aspects of another night of music, and since millennials are such a loyal bunch, they’ll stick around for the long haul. 



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