Taylor Swift: Ticket tax would hit the right note for Scotland’s music industry

A small levy on stadium shows could be a huge boost for independent music venues.

A surge in grassroots music venue closures amplifies a growing need for a stadium ticket tax to be imposed on mega gigs such as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour shows in Edinburgh this weekend, say the Scottish Greens.

The call comes as Edinburgh prepares to host three major Taylor Swift gigs at Murrayfield, with over 67,000 people attending each of the sold out events. 

Those could easily have raised an estimated £200,000 for local venues alone. 

Figures by campaigners the Music Venue Trust show that the number of spaces closing has increased from one in 2021 and five in 2022 to 14 in 2023. 

Their research shows a £1 levy from every ticket sale at gigs in Scotland’s two largest stadiums would generate £1 million per year.

Scottish Greens culture spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, has championed the calls for a £1 ticket levy on all ticket stubs at Scotland’s biggest venues to support grassroots music, artists and venues. 

Mr Ruskell said: “I hope that everyone heading to Murrayfield this weekend enjoys seeing one of the world’s biggest performers in our country’s stunning capital city. It is fantastic news for fans that the world’s top pop star has come to Scotland. 

“Yet, all over Scotland, there are fantastic artists and music venues who are feeling the strain like never before. There are iconic venues that have provided a starting ground for some of the biggest artists in the world. 

“We need to stand with them and support them, otherwise we risk losing them for good.

“The mega gigs are amazing, and will form lots of great memories, but they are only one part of the music industry. A small £1 charge on the biggest stadium-packing gigs like Taylor Swift at Murrayfield could have a transformative impact on our industry and our culture.

“Music and art are about inspiring people and turning dreams into a reality. These moments are priceless. It’s a difficult time for all venues. That is why we must take action now to protect them, otherwise it will be too late.”