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Brits spend £965m to give up their own entertainment preferences in the name of love

Thu Sep 05 09:00:00 BST 2019

  • 72 per cent of Brits have attended events just to please someone else in the last year
  • In response, Barclaycard has identified ‘Gigplomats’ as those who relinquish their own entertainment preferences in support of a partner, friend or family member
  • Making someone happy (50 per cent), attending in the name of love (43 per cent) and spending time together (38 per cent) are the top reasons for going to live events altruistically
  • Partners (62 per cent), parents (48 per cent) and best friends (26 per cent) are the most likely groups to become Gigplomats

Brits are spending £965m a year to forgo their own entertainment preferences to keep a friend, family member or partner happy, new research from Barclaycard has found.

More than seven in ten (72 per cent) Brits have attended live events for the sake of a loved one in the past 12 months. In fact, of all the entertainment events Brits attend each year, five out of eight (62 per cent) are for someone else’s benefit. Despite this, 68 per cent actually admit to enjoying these events when they expected the opposite.

Of these ‘Gigplomats’ who compromise their personal tastes for another’s preferences, 50 per cent do so to make someone happy, 43 per cent attend in the name of love and 38 per cent say it’s worth it to spend more time together.

Gigplomats across the generations

Romantic partners are those most likely to be Gigplomats, with two thirds (66 per cent) having accompanied their other half to live entertainment events which they wouldn’t have chosen themselves. If Brits can’t convince a partner then asking a parent is the next best thing as almost half (48 per cent) of mums and dads would offer to attend, followed by a quarter of best friends (26 per cent).

There does appear to be a generational gap when it comes to Gigplomacy with those aged 18-24 most willing to go to live entertainment events for others, while those aged over 55 tend to be less likely to give up their time. The research shows that just 15 per cent of this age group attended an event out of love in the last month, compared to 39 per cent of 18-24 year olds.

Swap in the name of love

Over a third (34 per cent) of Brits admit to operating a ‘gig pro quo’ approach to live entertainment, agreeing to attend an event only if the favour is returned. A further 74 per cent would be willing to exchange attendance for bribes such as a loved one paying for the ticket (34 per cent), cooking dinner for a week (12 per cent), or agreeing to the other person having a lie in at the weekend (11 per cent).

What’s more, 23 per cent of Brits have offered to pay for tickets to convert a loved one, whilst 29 per cent will cough up for drinks or dinner on the night as an enticement. Yet, reassuringly, just under a quarter (24 per cent) of people will offer to attend altruistically, simply to spend more time with friends, family members, or partners.

Just over a third of parents, (36 per cent) would accompany their children to gigs as a way of staying connected and one in ten (10 per cent) admit to having gone to a gig for their children in exchange for help with the household chores.

When it comes to the event itself, one in four (24 per cent) Brits have exaggerated their enjoyment to make someone else happy, while humorously, one in ten (10 per cent) admit to spending a stint in the toilet to pass the time or making up excuses to leave early.   

Getting in the mood

The secret to becoming a good Gigplomat is to get into the mood beforehand. Watching previous events (24 per cent) or making a playlist of the artist or performers (23 per cent) proves to make the event more enjoyable. In fact, the research suggests Brits need to spend at least two hours listening or watching a loved one’s favourite act, prior to attending the event.

Daniel Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship at Barclaycard, said:

“For every event Brits can’t wait to get to the front of, there are many more we are attending to accompany a family member, partner or friend in the name of ‘Gigplomacy’. Our findings show that consumers spend a phenomenal amount attending events and acts in support of their loved ones.

“To ensure that all our customers are able to attend their favourite acts this year, we are offering cardholders savings across thousands of events including access to exclusive festival pre-sales.”

Danny Wallace, comedian, author and tv presenter, said:

“We all know the feeling of wanting to see an artist or act you love but your nearest and dearest aren’t quite so keen. It’s reassuring to know that Brits are willing to put their loved ones’ tastes above their own when it comes to live entertainment and find they enjoy themselves once they’re there.

“Here’s to the partners, parents and friends who selflessly attend gigs for others – and may we all repay them with ‘Gigplomacy’ in return.”

Notes to editors

*A survey of 2,000 British adults was carried out by OnePoll from 9th -15th August 2019.

£965m figure calculated as: 36% of UK adults (18,858,240 ONS 2019) attend live entertainment events each year, 66.45% of these adults (12,531,300) attend live entertainment events to please someone else, each spending £77 on Gigplomacy per year. £77 x 12,531,300 = £964,910,100

For further information, please contact Rebecca Butler, PR Manager at Barclaycard on Rebecca.Butler@barclaycard.co.uk / 020 7116 1993.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2018 we processed nearly £268bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

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