The big festivals are the most benefited after the musical recovery in 2021

The years of the pandemic have left deep consequences in the music sector in Catalonia in 2020 and 2021.

07 September 2022 Wednesday 22:44
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The big festivals are the most benefited after the musical recovery in 2021

The years of the pandemic have left deep consequences in the music sector in Catalonia in 2020 and 2021. However, in this last year a recovery, or rather a certain recovery, has already begun to be noticed, according to the Yearbook of la Música 2022. The role of administrations in their non-refundable disbursements has been crucial for the survival of the sector or to mitigate its effects.

In this annual study prepared by the Enderrock group and the association of promoters and managers of Catalonia (ARC), the main conclusion reached is that the year 2021 was the turning point towards the recovery of the Catalan music industry. In this sense, and in its presentation this afternoon, the head of Enderrock, Lluís Gendrau, assured that "2022 is being a year of recovery for the cultural and musical sector".

Because that change in trend that was experienced in 2021, so far in 2022 has become a big change, especially with regard to the big festivals and promoters, who have managed to overcome the pre-pandemic figures of 2019.

In this sense and according to the provisional data of what has been going on in 2022, the main festivals held in Catalonia have managed to increase the number of spectators by 20% compared to 2019, thanks above all to the increase in the offer and the growth of the gauging.

The macro-festivals with more than 50,000 attendees have managed to gain 27% of the public compared to two years ago, while the large festivals, from 10 to 50 thousand spectators, have matched the attendance to the pre-coronavirus figures with an increase of 4% . On the other hand, small musical events, that is, with less than 10,000 attendees, are still 20% below the figures for 2019.

Regarding 2021, which is the field of study of the presented yearbook, this beginning of recovery -both in live music and in record product- has brought about changes in habits.

Thus, the consumption surveys carried out by the Generalitat do not yet reflect a massive return in attendance at concerts and festivals -a growth that, as was said at the beginning, is only detected in macro-festivals-, while there has been a remarkable growth of 3% of listening to music at home, especially from digital platforms in the last two years and by young people between 14 and 18 years old.

In this aspect, the genre that was consumed the most last year was pop-rock, while urban music has fallen a lot in the last two years to the fifth position of preferences.

On the other hand, the revitalization of the local and emerging scene that could be seen during confinement due to mobility difficulties and/or border closures also suffered a backward turn, since in 2021 the Catalan artists present at the main festivals fell by 14%, and the presence of Catalan on stage, by 7%. Even so, the Anuari assures that "attendance at concerts in Catalan was imposed on concerts in English and Spanish during 2021 for the first time in history."

And another noteworthy fact is the serious decrease in female presence on stage, since in the last two years the upward figures achieved before have been reduced by 20%. At the festival level, Barnasants and Primavera Sound are the ones that program the most women and the least, Cruïlla.

The perspective that is being experienced this 2022 invites, first of all, satisfaction for what recovery means for a sector on the verge of collapse, especially in the offer of live music.

In this regard, Lluís Torrents, director of the Razzmatazz room and at the same time president of the association of concert halls of Catalonia, assured that the current situation is one of oversaturation of supply. Specifically, for example, in the room that he currently directs, he programs 30% more than in 2019.

"Since February 2022 we have been in a bubble that was foreseeable. But the truth is that there is so much supply that the public does not cover it, and there are cancellations and changes of rooms with lower capacity." And he added that "another effect that the pandemic has left is that since the activity has recovered after two years is that the neighborhood pressure has clearly grown (in Berga, Primavera Sound, Poble Espanyol)... We have a lot of work to do and see how live music is raised".



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