Wigan's music scene is 'most badly hit in UK' by gig cancellations

Wigan's live music scene will be the worst affected of all major UK cities and towns by event cancellations and venue closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lottery Winners performed at The Old Courts last monthThe Lottery Winners performed at The Old Courts last month
The Lottery Winners performed at The Old Courts last month

That is according to information compiled by live events data supplier The List, which covers more than 45,000 live events and 600,000 different performances across the country.

It found live music events in Wigan made up 23 per cent of the total annual events in the town, standing at 17.75 per cent above the national average across the UK.

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Among the venues in the borough usually hosting live music events are The Old Courts and The Edge.

But live music and other performances are set to continue during the coronavirus crisis, with popular arts venue The Old Courts launching a series of events online tonight.Northern towns and cities overwhelmingly topped the list, with Leeds, Leicester and Dudley coming in behind Wigan. Manchester – whose live music scene famously gave the world the likes of The Smiths, Oasis, the Stone Roses and Take That – came in seventh.

The UK’s live music industry has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as rules and regulations around public gatherings and social distancing have been enforced in an effort to slow the rate of infection.

Music venues have closed their doors, acts have cancelled tours and performances, and major music festivals have been scrapped.

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Brendan Miles, director of data and content at The List, said: "It is an unprecedented time for the cultural sector in the face of the pandemic and there is not a city or town in the UK unaffected by the coronavirus.

"Some areas, however, will be hit harder than others. Whilst there are a small number of future tours still being announced, the reductions we are seeing in volume are exceptional."

The List's top 10 UK towns and cities where gigs make up the greatest proportion of live events: Wigan, Leeds, Leicester, Dudley, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Bristol and Birmingham.

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