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Danish music industry reports 3bn loss in 2020

Denmark’s music industry lost over 3 billion krone (€403m) in revenue in 2020.

That’s according to a new report commissioned by live music association Dansk Live and the Danish Chamber of Commerce along with others.

The Danish Music Sales report uncovers that in 2020, the entire industry – including live and recorded – experienced a decline in revenue of up to 35% due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This makes music one of the hardest-hit industries in Denmark.

The concert sector has been particularly hard hit with a 52% drop in revenue compared to 2019.

For concert and festival organisers, closures and restrictions have had a devastating effect on ticket sales – which fell by 65% in 2020 compared with 2019.

At Danish venues, ticket sales fell by 51% compared with the previous year, while festivals lost as much as 97% of their ticket sales.

“The low ticket turnover clearly shows that 2020 was in many ways a year of horror for Danish music. Of course, it greatly affects the organisers, but it has spread rings to the rest of the music scene – including artists, songwriters and producers,” says Esben Marcher, head of secretariat at Dansk Live.

“The low ticket turnover clearly shows that 2020 was in many ways a year of horror for Danish music”

Mikkel Xavier, booker and head of development for Smukfest, says: “These are disappointing numbers, but of course not surprising. At the same time, we look forward to the end of 2021, where we, especially as festival organisers, do not expect better numbers. Unresolved help package applications, pressured suppliers and declining interest in working with the technical part of the festival industry, challenge broadly.”

The report warns that closures and restrictions have had major consequences for local venues and festivals, and it will take time and support to get them back to pre-pandemic levels of operation.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce is subsequently calling for help for the industry from the government’s so-called ‘war fund’.

“The Danish music industry is characterised by being a cohesive ecosystem, where fluctuations in one part of the industry are also felt in other parts of the industry,” says Brian Mikkelsen, CEO of Dansk Erhverv, the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

“We do not yet know the full extent of the consequences for the music industry, but it is quite clear that especially festivals and the entire live part, including not least the music export, have suffered tremendously during closures and restrictions.

“Therefore, there is a need to focus on a good restart, and here some of the funds in the government’s so-called ‘war fund’ should be prioritised for the music industry. This has consequences for both exports in the area and for the entire food chain, and it is important that the damage does not become greater than it needs to be.”

The report, also in collaboration IFPI, Koda, MXD, Gramex, Musikforlæggerne and Rambøll, can be viewed here.


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