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With panto season in full swing, 2023 has been a “comeback year” for spending on live events, according to a major bank’s analysis of its customers’ habits.

HSBC UK, which analysed customers’ debit and credit card spending, said the number of transactions made for live events more than doubled in the month of August 2023, compared with the month of January 2020.

The average customer is currently spending between £50 and £60 per month on live events, with women being more likely to buy tickets for live events than men, the bank found.

HSBC also recorded a 117% rise in transactions for theatre productions, when comparing the month of January 2020 with May 2023.

A YouGov survey of more than 2,100 people on behalf of HSBC UK in November indicated that people were more likely to have cut back on clothes shopping (42%) than music festivals (15%) this year, as households grappled with the cost-of-living squeeze.

Pella Frost, head of everyday banking at HSBC UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see our customers enjoying the return of live events after the pandemic closed the curtain on some of our favourite shows.

“It’s clear that, despite the current cost climate, consumers really value these experiences, but we urge everyone to remain vigilant and always purchase their tickets from official sources.

“Purchase scams are on the rise, especially at this time of year, so remember, if the price is too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam.”

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Here are HSBC UK’s tips for staying safe when buying tickets for live events:

– Buy tickets only from the venue’s box office, official sellers or reputable fan websites.

– Do not click on social media, text or email links or attachments offering tickets, as they could link to fraudulent or malware websites.

– Avoid paying for tickets via bank transfer.

– Check sellers’ privacy and returns policies.

– Keep receipts until after the event.

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