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Petzi: Swiss clubs punching above their weight

Small music venues inject close to 100 million Fr. each year into the Swiss economy, despite being under-subsidised compared to other cultural sectors, venues association Petzi has said.

Quoted in the report from the first Conference for Contemporary Music, held in Locarno earlier this month to celebrate 20 years of the association, 24 Heures Stéphanie Arboit said Petzi’s 175 member venues play “an important social role, and bring real cultural, social and economic value” to Switzerland, in spite of receiving less funding than other, more “established” sectors.

According to Petzi, subsidies for Swiss nonprofits – which include many of Petzi’s member venues – are also lower than the European average: 29%, compared to 41%.

Nearly 2.27m people – nearly 30% of the population – attended a show at a Petzi venue in 2014

Nearly 2.27m people – nearly 30% of the population – attended a show at a Petzi venue in 2014 (the most recently available data), supporting 4,033 full-time employees, 17,321 volunteers and 21,875 performers (of which 56% were Swiss).

Hedy Graber, director of cultural and social affairs at Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, which organises the m4music conference/showcase festival, said that while Switzerland should “rejoice at the success” of its small-venue scene, that success brings new challenges: With most clubs located in urban areas, where space is frequently tight (Switzerland has the highest concentration of music venues and festivals in the world), “questions are increasingly being asked on [issues such as] regulation, noise restrictions, smoking areas, violence and drugs,” she said.

That, Graber continued, is why it’s “necessary to have a lobby that can mobilise with force and passion on behalf of venues and festivals”.

Switzerland is the focus country for The Great Escape in Brighton, UK, next month.


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