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Spanish market up 14.7%—but still below 2010 high

Spain's live business recorded its third consecutive year of growth in 2016 – although revenues once again fell short of 2010, attributed by APM to high cultural VAT

By IQ on 18 Apr 2017

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The River tour, Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State

Bruce Springsteen's 'The River' tour date in Madrid was the biggest show in Spain in 2016

image © Penn State

The value of the Spanish live music industry increased 14.7% year on year in 2016 – a third consecutive year of growth, and the best 12 months for the business in six years.

Bolstered by tours by Bruce Springsteen, Manuel Carrasco and Coldplay, revenues from live performance topped €223 million – up from €194.6m in 2015 – although that figure still falls short of the €260m recorded in 2010, before the increase in VAT on shows to 21%.

The Association of Music Promoters (APM), whose recently published Live Music Yearbook VIII documents the statistics, says the 21% rate of cultural-sector VAT remains the biggest obstacle to further growth, as, “despite promises [to cut VAT] by the ruling party, it continues to hurt the live industry on a day-to-day basis”.

“Despite promises to cut VAT, it continues to hurt the live industry on a day-to-day basis”

Despite the positive figures, APM also warns of relying too much on major international tours, citing “meagre margins” for smaller, independent promoters, and says government action is needed on secondary ticketing, which has been “particular harmful on these tours [Springsteen and Coldplay], as well as on those scheduled for 2017 by Bruno Mars and Joaquín Sabina”.

APM, which represents more than 80% of Spain’s concert promoters, recently appointed Producciones Animadas director Albert Salmerón as its new president.

The eighth Live Music Yearbook (Anuario de la Música en Vivo), can be purchased for €8 from Jot Down.


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