Hurrah! The UK loves music!
Oxjam - the making-music spin-off of the Oxfam charity - recently conducted a survey of more than 2,000 music lovers across the UK. And the results make for some fascinating reading...
According to their figures, there are around 5 million musicians in the UK, currently performing in 1.25 million bands. One in four Britons are either currently or were once in a band.
Seven per cent of people even say they have already written their potential smash hit, representing a total of 3.5 million chart-toppers waiting to be discovered in households across Britain. That’s enough to fill the Top 40 for more than 20 generations.
Over half of bands (52%) are born from a simple love of music – just 4% believe they will be able to make a full-time living out of playing music, and only 1% of bands form with the intention of becoming famous.
The survey found that live music is more popular than ever amongst the British public – 37% of us now attend at least one gig every month, compared with 21% five years ago.
At the other end of the scale, just 20% of Britons rarely or never attend gigs: in 2001, this figure stood at 39%.
The success of live music lies in its unique appeal: 31% of us prefer the thrill of live music to listening to recorded music in any form.
39% of us say that we attend more gigs than five years ago due to the new-found ease with which we can find out about music through online phenomena such as MySpace.com.
A third believe that there are simply better bands around than five years ago, although just 10% say that the quality of music venues has risen accordingly.
More than anything, the figures - if you believe them - are a testament to the UK public's desire to make music for fun.
Obviously, we believe that. You do to. But do these figures strike you as realistic for the whole nation?