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Spain’s APM reveals record ticket sales

Box office takings of more than €459 million in 2022 were 20% higher than the previous best, set in the last pre-pandemic year

By James Hanley on 15 Mar 2023

Albert Salmerón, Producciones Animadas, APM president, cultural VAT

Albert Salmeron

Spain’s Association of Musical Promoters (APM) has revealed revenue from ticket sales reached record levels in 2022.

The organisation says box office takings of more than €459 million soared 191.33% on 2021, a year restricted by the pandemic, but were also up 20% on the previous best, set in the last pre-Covid year of 2019.

Speaking in the newly published Live Music Yearbook 2023, APM president Albert Salmeron says the figures symbolise “the recovery of a society”.

The biggest-selling tour was by Spanish rock band Fito & Fitipaldis, promoted by Live Nation, which moved 329,820 tickets for 27 concerts, followed by Alejandro Sanz (staged by Mow Management and GTS), who recorded 287,948 attendees for 16 live shows and Manuel Carrasco (Riff Producciones), who drew 260,809 fans to 19 dates.

American singer-songwriter and eight-time Latin Grammy winner Marc Anthony was the year’s best-selling international act, shifting 163,124 tickets for 10 Planet Events & Live Nation-presented gigs. In second place were the Red Hot Chili Peppers with 98,483 tickets sold for just two dates, followed by Morat (GTS), who pulled in a total of 97,434 people for his 10 concerts.

The top music festivals were Primavera Sound in Barcelona with a reported 500,700 attendees across the course of the event, ahead of Mad Cool in Madrid (310,000) and The Music Republic’s Arenal Sound in Burriana (300,000).

In terms of regions, the community of Madrid led the way with live music takings of €103.6m (22.55% of the national total), with Catalonia reaching €97.4m and Andalusia being responsible for €75.9m.

“Spain has become one of the main markets for global tours”

Salmeron, director of Barcelona-based Producciones Animadas, adds that the “amazing recovery” of the Spanish live music market also entailed new challenges for APM, including around the “scourge” of secondary ticketing.

“[We are] working to improve the industry on fundamental issues such as sustainability, equality of gender throughout the supply chain production… and, at the same time, fight against resale, which is certainly one of our main demons,” he says.

“The excessive and uncontrolled growth of the so-called secondary market, that has no borders, has generated ethical and economic issues for our sector and for the fan. It is a priority to fight against this with the help and complicity of all the agents involved and minimise a scourge that affects us all.”

Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was recently declared “open for business” for live music bookings as its extensive renovation nears completion.

“Maybe before, Spain was a country you could leave out of a global tour, but you wouldn’t do that now,” the venue’s head of large events and concerts Rocio Vallejo-Nágera told IQ. “I think we have become one of the main markets for global tours. And it’s not just American or British artists anymore – Latin music is growing so much and that works very well in Spain, and local acts are now filling arenas.”


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