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Less than 25% of Euro venues are music-exclusive

Live DMA's 2,300+ member venues are opening their doors to practising bands and social/educational groups, with just 23% relying solely on concerts

By Jon Chapple on 15 Sep 2016

Arne Dee, Live DMA

Survey coordinator Arne Dee (VNPF) presents Live DMA's findings at PrimaveraPro

image © Live DMA

Only a small number of venues in western Europe rely on putting on live music alone, a new survey reveals, with many doubling as art galleries, cinemas, rehearsal rooms, recording studios and more.

According to Live DMA’s 2016 annual survey, an average of 23% of its member venues are ‘pure’ music venues, hosting only concerts, while 77% combine live music with other programming. However, the specific percentage varies widely between countries, with over half of Dutch venues and almost 40% of those in Spain (rising to close to 60% for Catalonia) dedicated solely to live music and next to none in France.

Live DMA’s findings on venue usage, based on a survey of 435 venues in France, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain/Catalonia and Belgium (Flanders/Wallonia) and using data from 2014, can be viewed below:

2014 venue usage, Live DMA survey 2016

Despite this diversification, the total income of the venues surveyed by Live DMA – the average capacity of which is 583 – is still outstripped by their total expenditure, with the bulk depending on some form of government subsidy to stay afloat.

As with venue function, there is also a vast disparity in the level of public funding available in each country, with France the most generous and Germany, Spain and Catalonia among the least. Germany’s LiveKomm was not included in Live DMA’s report, but the results of its own survey can be seen below in the graph showing Live DMA members’ income:

2014 income, Live DMA survey 2016

As expected, smaller venues rely more on subsidies and non-music activities, whereas large ones earn more from ticket sales and food and beverage.

Using the data from its survey, Live DMA estimates that its member venues put on 222,000 shows for 56 million visitors in 2014, for a turnover of €1.87 billion.

A presentation based on the survey – first presented at Primavera Pro – which also covers employment, capacities, attendance, expenses and more, can be downloaded from the Live DMA website.

Live DMA is a network of over 2,300 European venues and festivals in 11 countries. In May it welcomed five new associations – Livemusik Sverige (Sweden), KeepOn (Italy), Kultura Live (Basque Country), Collectif Culture Bar Bars (France) and Music Venue Trust (Britain) – to its membership.


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