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Live music the top draw for pub-goers

As British pubs continue to close at a quickening rate, landlords are being encouraged to offer more live music acts to draw in the crowds.

Live music at The Old Duke pub, Bristol (Photo- Flickr : Charlie Marshall)

This is because a survey of 750 people has revealed that the prospect of listening to a live band is what most attracts customers to visit their local pub.

According to the research into pub entertainment commissioned by audiovisual equipment supplier AVonics, 37% of people would like their pub to regularly put on live music acts.

People’s desire for a live band appears to far outweigh their attraction to other pub staples like quizzes and the showing of sporting events on TV, which 29% and 16% of people said were their first preferences respectively.

Meanwhile, only 8% of people said that karaoke was their main draw to the pub, and just 5% of people would opt to go to their local for an open mic night.

The latest figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) suggests that an average of 29 pubs close in the UK every week, with the majority of these being local suburban pubs, rather than rural venues and high street bars.

Industry research suggest this is because British drinkers are opting to consume smaller amounts of alcohol less regularly, but are willing to spend more on premium drinks when they do, which is evident in the growth of the expensive craft beer sector in recent years.

While this is good news for high-end drinks producers and gastro-pubs that offer quality food to attract in customers, it is a worrying development for traditional establishments that have previously relied on low-cost, high-volume drinks sales to stay in business.

John Marsh, director of AVonics, commented: “It’s clear that pubs need to do something extra to get punters back in through the doors. People are generally far more careful with their money since the financial crisis, and bars need to stand out from the crowd.”

Meanwhile, figures from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers show that the number of nightclubs in the UK has halved in the last 10 years. In 2005 there were 3,144 clubs and this is now down to 1,733.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said that in some towns “they are gone for good and we’re never going to get them back”.

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