It's Not All Doom And Gloom....

With so much talk about the decline of the music industry and the worrying drops in CD sales recently, it seems that actually, it ain't all that bad!

A new UK music report regarding the state of the music tourism economy has shown that last year, nearly 8 million people spent £1.4 billion on festivals and visits to famous album cover sites. So while festivals and concerts may primarily be about good old fashioned sex, drugs and rock n roll, we're also happy to inject millions of pounds into the UK music economy as we raise our fists and pints of beer into the air.

But what other industry can you think of that can simultaneously transform an everyday, ordinary pedestrian crossing into a global tourism hot-spot? It's quite amazing really. The zebra-crossing in the picture above is, of course, the internationally famous site which featured on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album. Due to its global status in the music world, the crossing was granted a Grade-II Listed status last year, and plays it's part in millions of tourists' photographs and videos.

Luckily for us UK residents, we boast an amazing array of established and iconic music venues, as well as intimate and previously unknown venues, or musically rich towns and cities. This can be seen recently (this weekend gone, actually) with BBC Radio One's Big Weekend, which was held in Carlisle. Yes, you heard me correctly. A whole host of huge acts arrived- even the biggest of big, Lady Gaga, and consequently put Carlisle on the map. This is what the UK needs. If we are, and can continue to be a hot destination for music fans from all over the world, the UK music economy can only grow.

The report found that although foreigners amounted to just 5% of music tourists in the UK, they were responsible for 18% of the spending. So with the festival season already in tow and the summer just around the corner, it seems that the UK really is the place to be for music lovers far and wide.

So what are your favourite famous UK album cover sites?