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Gen Z Drinks Way Less At Shows

The kids don't want the expensive venue beers.

Beer Concert
Photo by Yannick Monschau on Unsplash

Gen Z, the group born between 1997 and 2012, is drinking way less at shows than the rest of us olds.

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According to a report by Billboard, Gen Z's alcohol intake is roughly 25% less than previous generations. That statistic comes from David Slutes, entertainment director at the Club Congress in Tucson, who said "Coming out of COVID-19, everything about the live music business was turned upside down. We weren't sure why the numbers were like this. Then we did a deeper dive, and at every event aimed at a Gen Z crowd, we saw numbers that were very different."

So what's driving down alcohol consumption? Obviously highway robbery prices at venues for beer aren't helping, but President and CEO Dayna Frank of First Avenue Productions pointed out that getting high beforehand also plays a role.

"One of the big trends we're seeing is that Gen Z doesn't drink as much," she said. "They're either eating edibles before they come or there's more of a sober, mental health [focus]… Most of the ticket price goes on to the band, so really what [venues] subsist on is beverages. That's not going to be a sustainable revenue stream."

Billboard also points out a 2020 study that showed 28% of college students didn't drink in 2018, compared to 20% in 2002. This is also a survey of college kids who might just not want to admit they're drinking in a study, so take that for what it's worth.

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Sure, less alcohol means less income for venues, but lets not forget about all those merch cuts that the venues are taking as well. That being said, smaller venues going under due to this (or struggling hard) is never a good thing. For every absolute bastard of an arena is a small-time and beloved club supporting live music in a major way in their area.

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