The keys to how the economic crisis will affect music festivals this summer

With summer knocking at the door, live music festivals arrive. With the arrival of the pandemic more than two years ago, the sector suffered the worst setback in history, losing 58.8% of revenue. This 2022 is presented as a year of recovery for many promoters, although it has several problems. The first, the purchasing power of the public, which has dropped because of the crisis; the second, the oversupply of festivals, which has completely saturated the market.

If there is something that is more than clear at this point, it is that the covid-19 pandemic stopped everything more than two years ago. However, the cultural sector was one of the most affected and hit by the pandemic. Now, and in full recovery, he is also being hit by the economic crisis.

With the arrival of summer, Spain is about to live a fundamental moment, since, finally, Many will be able to attend the appointments that they have seen postponed so much, as well as the new events that have been emerging throughout this time. However, this number of music festivals during the summer has saturated the market in such a way that the president of the Es_Música federation himself, Kin Martinezhas recognized the agency EFE that “there is an oversupply”.

In this way, and with a huge offer in terms of festivals, “an equipment crisis and a shortage of qualified personnel” have been caused, something that, in itself, had been seriously affected by labor drain in these two long years without shows of great caliber. On the other hand, the tickets purchased for events that have been postponed until reaching this precise moment have accumulated.

The problems of the macrofestivals

Kin Martinezpresident of Es_Música, has assured that “although there is desire on the part of the public, there is a generation that has suffered a long financial crisis to which is now added another of an energy type”. At this point, Martínez explained to EFE that, beyond the obvious, that it is a remarkable reduction in the purchasing power of societyIn addition, costs are increased “and, therefore, also ticket prices.”

Vinarock 2022.

For its part, in the Report of the O.B.S. Business School on the economic impact on the live music industry, points, once again, to the festival oversupply. The text ensures that from the sector they point out that “everyone wants to tour, and although more tickets are sold, there are no people for such an event”.

In short, most summer festivals have a very specific audience, also due to the so repetitive posters, and that they are not able to attend all the events that are held. The most affected, of course, are the newly created festivals, since “some start with an advantagesince they sold part of their tickets in 2019”, he assures Albert Guivernauauthor of the OBS report on festivals.

The impact of live music on the Spanish economy

Although in 2021 157.6 million euros were collected from the sale of live music tickets, the figure it had not increased too much compared to 2020, with revenues of 138.5 million euros. Although they do not seem bad figures, of course, they are far from the data prior to the pandemic, in 2019, whose income was 382.5 million euros. Analyzing the situation, it can be seen that the sector has lost 58.8% of its turnover with the arrival of covid-19.

Dua Lipa at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, ​​2022.

According to the OBS report, 2022 could be a key year for the recovery of lost investments during the pandemic. In this way, many promoters, who were forced to ask for loans and mortgages, could return them.

In any case, and although an illusion full of caution, 2022 is expected to leave great results and great figures for the live music sector. Taking into account the disappearance of capacity restrictions and the loyalty that the public has shown to the festivals -approximately 90% of the people who had a ticket for a festival in 2020 have kept it-, recovery is expected to become real.

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The keys to how the economic crisis will affect music festivals this summer