The Unfortunate Truth: The Devastating Value Loss for Festivals & Clubs
For festival and club-goers the routine for shows became like clockwork. The club opens at 10 pm and closes at 3 am, Tomorrowland takes place on the last two weekends of July, Ultra Miami starts the festival season in March, EDC is in the middle of May, and Creamfields finishes at the end of August. All of this became second nature to electronic music fans. Nothing ever missed a beat until 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic not only forced small local clubs to close their doors but also the biggest festivals in the world. While everyone hoped for a shutdown of only a few weeks, the weeks turned into months, causing a major revenue and value loss to venues.
In the 2021 IMS Ibiza Report, the truth that people feared was proven. The report estimates that festivals and clubs lost 78% of their value. This percentage drop results in a massive $3.4 billion loss of revenue from 2019 to the end of 2020.
This type of loss had a tremendous consequence on the entire scene and forced venues that many thought would last forever to lock their doors for one final time. Clubbingspain, a well-known promotion group that listed 400,000 events in 4,500 clubs over 20 years, became a victim of this decimation and had to decide to close. Paul Clement, Co-Founder and Resident Advisor for Clubbingspain explained to the IMS Report the loss the group saw.
“Before the pandemic the years played out almost like clockwork for 20 years. We had always been profitable. And then one day we had 85 staff and 97% of our revenue was gone overnight”
But while the incredible drop in value made life difficult for venue owners and promoters. There is a hope to be found that is already taking place within the business. The report states that the value of festival tickets sold went up 123% when comparing March to May 2021 and 2019. It’s also said that the value of tickets sold in March of this year is more than the entire year of 2020 combined. Lastly, sold festival ticket values went up 3999% in March of 2021 compared to March of 2020.
It was an unprecedented time and year for people in the business. They had to endure situations they never thought they would have to face. It wasn’t easy and there was a substantial loss. But most venues and festivals were able to weather the storm and now there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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