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The once thriving UK live scene has turned into a ghost town. Artists have resorted to massive guests just to get people to show up

“You always had people that didn’t turn up,” said artist manager Graeme Stewart. “It was around 5% normally, but you’re getting as much as 40% no-shows for some gigs now. It’s an enormous problem, and it’s happening for anything that’s ticketed.”

Sacha Lord, the co-founder of Parklife festival and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said even the most popular line-ups are being affected. “We’re seeing a big drop-off, even at really hot, sold-out shows. It’s happening every single night, and it’s affecting all artists.”

Lord said it is not just venues that are struggling: “The knock-on effects of this are phenomenal. It’s decimating the whole industry.”

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