Pyrénées-Orientales: the business of summer festivals

This summer 2022, there will definitely be a record number of festivals organized in the department. With at least eighteen such events in the four corners of the Pyrénées-Orientales. A business that can prove profitable for organizers, whether private or public, and generates a strong tourist argument, according to the latest studies on the subject. But, to stand out and attract more audience, investment is important. Deciphering the economic stakes of festivals with two local behemoths: Les Déferlantes and Electrobeach.

In 2022 more than ever, due to competition, the festivals of the Pyrénées-Orientales want to be beautiful. For that, there is no secret: you have to invest.

In Frontera’s production, the move of Les Déferlantes from Argelès-sur-Mer to Céret was a very important economic issue. Ultimately, Les Déferlantes wants to be one of the five biggest festivals in France. To compete with Vieilles Charrues (270,000 viewers in 2019) or Solidays (228,000 festival-goers in 2019), Def ’will have to invest heavily. “This year we have 55 artist referencesexplained Fabrice Lorente, co-director of La Frontera, Programming costs after Covid went up. Some managers are asking for fees that far exceed the 30% increase compared to 2019. But we want to increase that. The cost of the 2022 program is exactly double that of 2019.

After a two-year shortage, in the face of the collective resumption of festivals, artists are raising the price of these services which are their main source of income. “Since the disc crisis, musicians have lived thanks to live, i.e., their tours and the festivals“, confirmed Fabrice Lorente. But that is needed to stand in the department.

We blew up the initial budget of 9 million euros

By catching large Muse fish, the Déferlantes strengthened their communication across the Pyrénées-Orientales borders, particularly focused on southern Catalonia. It all has value. A month and a half before the festival, the costs are not yet final. “We blew up the initial budget of 9 million eurosassured by the co-director of La Frontera. This year, we are not going to be profitable. We know this. Our revenue is divided into thirds and comes from ticketing, private partnership and on-site consumption“.

Déferlantes ’bet has not yet been successful, but some signals are in the green. The ticket office has been constantly and steadily rising since it opened. The symbolic threshold of 17,000 places, i.e., Valmy’s capacity, is exceeded every night.

These major events will certainly have impacts on the economy of the territory. If the Déferlantes were to conduct a study in this direction this year, Electrobeach du Barcarès would have calculated it before the Covid era. In 2019, the last normal year for this sector of activity, Barcarès mayor Alain Ferrand explained that for an investment of 8 million euros, the direct and indirect economic benefits are approximately 25 million euros. . An envelope found in transportation, accommodation, catering and leisure. Because Electrobeach festival-goers, who number more than 150,000 in 2019, sometimes come from far and wide to attend the event. While 35% are from Occitania, 55% are from other regions and 11% are international. “We are a celebration of general interest for the city of Barcarès, but also for the territoryby Alain Ferrand. We have created an entire ecosystem around Electrobeach which is a massive promotion of the department on a national scale.

For this 2022 edition, the investment focused on Electrobeach is “much the equivalent of 2019, although we have weakenedassumed the mayor of Barcarès. By 2020, we have already paid the artists, so losses. Then, we had to bring the residents back to the festival it wanted. And we got no help. Local institutions do not support us when we should work together because of the economic benefits generated by Electrobeach“.

“Multiply festivals yes, but according to the calendar”

On June 17 and 18, Maury celebrates his 20the edition of Women’s Voices. Louane, Camelia Jordana or Marie-Flore make up the poster for the anniversary event. This festival, organized by the municipality, attracts between 2,000 and 4,000 spectators each night, depending on the artists programmed. “We don’t seek to blow up the metrics but just to respect the financial balance and have the funds to start again next year, confession of Charles Chivilo, the city councilor. Our duty is above all to bring culture to the heart of rural areas so that it does not concentrate on tourist areas anymore.“. And if the Voice of Women always finds its place at summer festivals, the chief justice has some concerns.”Bacchus got a big disappointment on our dates. I am totally in favor of multiplying the celebrations but we should respect the harmony of the calendar“.

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