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Music worth €870m to European arenas in challenging 2016

High artist fees, economic uncertainty and fewer tours failed to put much of a dent in the European arena business last year, reveals IQ's new European Arena Yearbook

By IQ on 06 Jul 2017

König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany, EAY 2017

SMG's König Pilsener Arena has transformed the Neue Mitte industrial area of Oberhausen, Germany

The European arenas business generated over €1.4 billion last year – with live music accounting for more than 60% of that total – despite the challenges posed by sluggish economies and a dearth of touring artists, reveals the inaugural European Arena Yearbook (EAY).

EAY, a standalone publication which replaces IQ’s annual European Arena Report, is produced by ILMC in partnership with the European Arenas Association (EEA) and the UK’s National Arena Association (NAA). Sixty-nine European arenas contributed to the first edition, which tracked more more than 5,500 performances across the continent.

Divided into six regional focuses – central and eastern Europe; France and Benelux; Germany, Switzerland and Austria; the Nordics; southern Europe; and Britain and Ireland – the first EAY also includes a big-picture overview of the European industry and in-depth features on venue security and new technology.

Across Europe as a whole, several promoters told EAY that 2016 was a difficult year due to the lack of international acts out touring, and music’s share of overall venue usage slipped slightly (-1% YoY) to 39%, losing ground to sporting and family events. However, many are already reporting a “significant boost” in concert bookings for 2017, and it is expected that music will rebound above the 40% mark in next year’s survey.

“The European arena sector is a multibillion-euro concern, employing thousands of people and having favourable economic impact on towns and cities from Aberdeen to Zagreb”

Other key takeaways from EAY 2017 include:

Total spend on music topped €868.5m
Revenues from live music accounted for a whopping 60.5% of the pot, with total attendance reaching more than 16m

European Arena Yearbook (EAY) 2017, 2016 key statistics

Southern Europe set to drive future growth
There is a “tangible feeling of optimism” in the Mediterranean, with huge potential for growth and Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese seeing more shows than the European average

European Arena Yearbook (EAY) 2017, growth predictions

Artist fees are still a cause for concern
Spiralling artist fees remain the no1 concern among European venues, with their respective nations’ economies in close second. (It should be noted, however, that at the time of survey completion the Manchester Arena bombing had not yet happened)

European Arena Yearbook (EAY) 2017, industry concerns

Music ticket prices continue to rise
And while live music is still the biggest draw throughout Europe, sport is eating into its share of venue usage

European Arena Yearbook (EAY) 2017, ticket prices and venue usage

“The headlines across this first EAY are that our reporting arenas brought in more than €1.4bn in revenues in 2016, entertaining more than 32m people in the process, across more than 5,500 performances,” writes IQ/EAY editor Gordon Masson, “underlining the fact that the European arena sector is a multibillion-euro concern, employing thousands of people and having favourable economic impact on towns and cities from Aberdeen to Zagreb.”

Dive into the European Arena Yearbook 2017 below:


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