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“Return to normal” as French live audiences grow in 2017

The new Baromètre du Live shows audience numbers have returned to growth for the first time since 2015, as French concertgoers feel safer at a show than in everyday life

By Jon Chapple on 19 Oct 2017

Rock en Seine 2017, Barometre du Live 2017

image © Rock en Seine

The French live music industry is approaching a “return to normal” following the events of November 2015, new research suggests, with audience numbers showing a “significant increase” of 6% compared to last year.

Industry association Prodiss today presented the results of its annual Baromètre du Live at the MaMA Convention in Paris, focusing especially on the return to health of the live sector following the attack on the Bataclan almost two years ago.

Baromètre du Live 2017, based on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, reveals that after a “slightly depressed 2016, probably due to the impact of the attacks”, 2017 has seen 42% of all French people attending at least one live show, up from 36% in 2016, 38% in 2015 and 31% in 2014. This “steady increase”, says Prodiss, “appears to be a kind of ‘return to normal’” as the sector continues its recovery, bolstered by improved feelings of safety and a perception that live entertainment provides an “antidote” to an atmosphere of crisis.

Indeed, nearly four in five respondents (79%) said they feel “somewhat” or “very” safe when they attend a show or festival – an increase of 5% on 2016’s Baromètre – despite a falling feeling of everyday security, with only 56% reporting they feel secure in their daily lives; down 6% on last year. (However, all this extra security has come at a cost: IQ revealed in April 87 of France’s biggest festivals spent a combined €3.74 million on security last year – an average of €13,613 each per day.)

68% say concerts are an “antidote” for “the atmosphere of crisis” in France

As in 2016, French audiences continue feel live entertainment forms part of a cultural “fightback” against those who wish to destroy their way of life: 68% say concerts are an “antidote” for “the atmosphere of crisis” that has taken root in the wake of successive terrorist attacks – an increase of 11% on 2014 – continuing the trend seen in the second half of 2016.

Nearly half of respondents, meanwhile, consider the industry is “making the necessary efforts, from a price point of view, of enabling them to have fun to fight against the gloom”. Forty-eight per cent say shows are affordably priced.

As a whole, all indicators are more positive than at any time in the past four years, not just compared to 2016: in addition to the aforementioned rise in the number of people who have seen at least one show in the past year, 5% more say they have seen at least one show since the start of the Baromètre – and 11% more are seeing at least one show a month.

The new audience figures from Prodiss follow a recent report analysing the sector’s economic impact, which found the market was worth more than €2 million in 2015 and employed 98,000 people. “Event promoters, […] venues and festivals, mostly small business, form an entrepreneurial fabric that is as dynamic as it is heterogeneous,” said Prodiss president Luc Gaurichon.


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