Britain's pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants hosted about 1.7 million concerts in the past year and have the potential to host more, according to a new report on the United Kingdom's live mus

Britain's pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants hosted about 1.7 million concerts in the past year and have the potential to host more, according to a new report on the United Kingdom's live music business.

The study, to be published tomorrow (Aug. 25) by the government-backed Live Music Forum, indicates that 47% of 1,600 businesses surveyed in England and Wales had staged live acts at least once in the last year. The report, titled "Live Music Scene -- The Verdict," was the first project carried out by the Forum, which was formed in January.

The survey focused primarily on pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants, for which new licensing laws are considered to pose opportunities. Almost one-fifth of the surveyed venues were found to stage live music regularly (at least twice each month).

Forum chairman Feargal Sharkey says he hopes to use the research to bolster Britain's vibrant music scene. "A third of the people we spoke to who do not currently put on live music said they probably would in the future," Sharkey notes. "I want them, and anyone with the space to put on a band or a live act, to think carefully and remember the benefits in profits, to customers and to the next generation of performers," he adds.

At the end of its two-year lifespan, the Forum will make recommendations to the British government based on its findings.