Survey: Gen Z Twice as Likely to Call In Sick to See Live Music as Millennials

Live music is appealing across generations — perhaps some more than others

Taylor Swift live
Taylor Swift at SoFi Stadium in August 2023.
Kevin Winter/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Have you ever called in sick to work so that you could go see live music instead? According to a new survey conducted by YouGov and ticket seller Viagogo, a significantly higher percentage of Gen Z would do this than their counterparts in the Millennial realm. Though, to be fair, the vast majority of both generations wouldn’t call out sick for a concert at all.

Writing at Consequence, Carys Anderson has more details on the survey results, which covered 2,000 adults based in the U.K. Let’s start with the most eye-catching numbers: 19% of Gen Z would be willing to call in sick to see the right concert, as opposed to just 8% of Millennials. For purposes of the survey, Gen Z was defined as someone born between 1997 and 2012, while Millennials were defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996.

All of that means that there might be a generational divide afoot when it comes to live music — or that someone who’s 21 might be more willing to call in sick from work than someone who’s 41.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some differences between the two generations when it comes to music, as the recent announcement of Olivia Rodrigo ticket sales has made clear. Are there hot takes on generational divides when it comes to concert attendance? Hoo boy, yes:

Still, live music can also bring fans of all ages together. Earlier this year, The New Yorker‘s Amanda Petrusich wrote about attending a Taylor Swift concert in May, and described Swift’s wide-ranging appeal.

“As the night went on, I began to understand how Swift’s fandom is tied to the primal urge to have something to protect and be protected by,” Petrusich wrote. “In recent years, community, one of our most elemental human pleasures, has been decimated by COVID, politics, technology, capitalism. These days, people will take it where they can get it.”

The thrill that can come from a great live performance is compelling, regardless of age. Whether it’s worth calling out sick from work for is another story — but it’s not hard to see why some people would do just that for the right show.

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