Beer garden boom as warm weather leads to entertainment spending

A Norwich beer garden. Photo: WSS

A Norwich beer garden. Photo: WSS


Although the warm summer spelled doom for the high street, it boosted the UK’s entertainment industry as the public took to the beer gardens instead of the shops.

Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK, said that the public’s “consistently strong” appetite for entertainment spending had helped to balance out the depressing spending outlook.

The company said overall spending grew by 4% year-on-year in 2018, rising slightly from 3.5% growth seen in 2017, as entertainment bolstered the struggling retail sector.

Spending on entertainment saw 9% year-on-year growth in 2018, with the pub and restaurant sectors seeing spending growth of 11.2% and 8.7% respectively.

Spending on tickets saw 6.3% growth year-on-year, although there were some peaks and troughs during 2018 in spending on this sector.

The months of October and November saw particularly strong annual growth in ticket spending, coinciding with key dates such as the release of tickets for the Glastonbury Festival and the Spice Girls’ reunion tour, as well as high-profile cinema releases such as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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