Encouraging news with a return of the public to performance halls and festivals but cascading concerns linked to a weakened economic balance. On the occasion of MaMa, the Parisian festival for the public and professionals in the music industry which runs until Friday October 14, the National Music Center (CNM) announced, after two black years linked to Covid- 19, “a half-hearted recovery for 2022”. Ticketing revenue should reach 909 million euros, i.e. 10% less than in 2019. A limited decline which masks the gap between large capacity cinemas (more than 5,000 seats), whose ticketing should increase by 19 % compared to 2019, small and medium-sized companies who expect a drop of 38% and 26% respectively.
Romain Laleix, Deputy Director General of the CNM, underlines “significant increase in supply” in very large gauge rooms. Some artists like Juliette Armanet, Clara Luciani, Angèle or Feu! Chatterton, massively scheduled, have stepped up their competition. At the risk of blowing up the stamps of the artists.
Bundle of uncertainties
In its 2022 economic report covering 47 festivals, Prodiss, the employers’ organization for musical and variety show companies, does not say anything different. The number of performances at these festivals has increased by 17% compared to 2019. But if revenues are increasing, costs are exploding, between the inflation of the artistic budget and technical costs. The “deterioration of the economic balance” is such that 59% of the festivals in this sample declared themselves in deficit, compared to 43% in the previous study. And eight of them wonder if their next edition will be compromised. Especially since purchasing power is likely to seriously curb the habits of spectators, underlines a second Prodiss survey.
Aurélie Hannedouche, director general of the Union of contemporary music (SMA) does not hide her concern. Concerts are now canceled if ticket presales are insufficient, she says. Electricity cost inflation is expected to average “double for concert halls”which could force some to close for a month around Christmas.
“We are walking on a tightrope, like tightrope walkers: we have fewer ticket offices, sales of drinks, public aid – as evidenced by the restrictions of the Grand Est Regional Council or Auvergne Rhône-Alpes –, while the price electricity, gasoline, technical materials fly away”, deplores M.me Handshower. And since the minimum wage has exceeded the lowest wages in the profession, “we are in the third negotiation this year “, she adds.
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Trompe-l’oeil revival of music performances
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