The National Music Center in France has highlighted the health of the French music sector in 2021 following the interruption caused by COVID-19. 

Jean-Philippe Thiellay, president of the National Music Center, commented on the health of the live entertainment industry prior to the pandemic, and said that the industry had been experiencing significant growth. He also mentioned the public interest in live music shows.

He said: “In 2019, ticketing revenues in the tax field – current music and varieties – increased by 12% compared to 2018, reaching a record €980m (£833m/$1bn). Nearly 59,000 performances were attended by about 30 million spectators, up by 8% compared to 2018.

“This growth comes from festivals – 8,500 performances and 7.5 million admissions – as well as regular concert halls; 50,000 performances and nearly 23 million admissions.”

Theillay compared this to the spring of 2020, where performances “collapsed” by 71% and ticketing lost 83% of its 2019 value. Across the year, prior to worldwide lockdowns and during the summer when communities opened up again, there were only 17,000 paid performances for a combined audience of six million. 

He added: “2021 will be another dark year for musical and variety shows. The losses can be estimated between €930m and €1bn for ticketing revenues and between €1.7bn and €1.9bn for turnover.”

This was due to festivals and gigs being cancelled and international tours in arenas not going ahead. Even when events were able to happen, they took place with restrictions in place.

Theillay also highlighted how during the early stages of the pandemic, the entire music sector suffered before Governments stepped in with aid, including in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands. 

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