It’s said there’s no business like show business and with the top 10 musicians taking $278m in tour revenues between them in 2016, the numbers speak for themselves.
London is a key destination on the international touring scene. Money generated by live music in the capital exceeded £1bn for the first time in 2016, in part thanks to an increased number of major festivals and more global artists heading to London during their world tours. Meanwhile, in November, the MTV European Music Awards came to London for the first time in 21 years, bringing in a whole host of stars from around the globe.
But the capital doesn't only attract touring artists. Many global icons also favour London when it comes to producing their material. Abbey Road Studios is the city's most famous, and oldest, purpose-built recording studio, but there is now a selection of others that deliver exceptional technology, outstanding equipment and a favourable working environment.
Three profiles of tenants/buyers have emerged: the global superstar renter, the emerging artist first-time buyer and the veteran musician downsizer.
Something both recording and performing artists have in common is the need for accommodation while they're in town. Recording can take up to four or five months and artists will often seek a place to call home rather than stay in a hotel.
At the same time, rising British talent is looking to lay down roots in the capital while long-established stars are downsizing from their larger pads. As such, three profiles of tenants/buyers have emerged: the global superstar renter, the emerging artist first-time buyer and the veteran musician downsizer.
Making an album can result in plenty of late nights and early starts. Artists’ criteria for rental accommodation will therefore include close proximity to recording studios – the most prestigious are in north and south-west London – and a very private location. However, there is a premium to be paid for this type of property, located as they are in the most sought-after parts of the capital, with budgets soaring well into the tens of thousands per month.
The latest technology, a superior interior specification and space for members of their team or support network of visitors are also of key importance. So they can remain focused on the task in hand, recording musicians tend to want somewhere they can relax and entertain without the need to go out and socialise. Equally, they may have work commitments around the world so straightforward access to airports is often another must-have.
Emerging musicians tend to be first-time buyers and their search criteria is much the same as the global superstar renter: discretion and specification being the two main requirements. Location wise, many want to be in the centre of town, perhaps in a penthouse within a secure development or a house well hidden from prying eyes and lenses but within a community of other successful professionals.
The veteran musicians, on the other hand, traditionally migrate to the capital's green spaces, buying substantial yet very private homes in the likes of Richmond, Primrose Hill and Clapham Common. They may well have a grown-up family, not to mention numerous properties around the globe, and are now downsizing to a smaller London base.
London is the headline act on the global stage, with more leading names from the music world choosing to call it home on a short or full time basis than ever before.