“It seems to me that summer is opening in a reasonably optimistic way for festivals. We are currently experiencing this tipping point that allows shows to go from “sitting” to “standing”. An essential point for current music.

→ MAINTENANCE. Festivals: “This summer, however special it might be, had to exist! “

This year, many French people are going to spend their holidays in France, which militates in favor of a good attendance at festivals, these being mainly frequented by a national audience. This will largely compensate for the absence of foreigners, a minority among festival-goers. Summer, synonymous with the great outdoors, promotes the confidence of spectators in terms of health and festival organizers use it as a selling point to reassure worried people.

Young audience and older audience

Because it remains, especially in the oldest public who, after the enthusiasm of the first days of deconfinement, wonders about the delta variant, the real effectiveness of vaccines and its durability …

Young people are more likely to be discouraged by the hassle of testing if a health pass cannot be presented, while physical distancing measures go against what they expect from a festival. : letting go, celebration, closeness, meetings over a drink… It is therefore incumbent on festivals to show talent in their communication, to convey a message combining safety and a touch of madness. Especially since they must convince the loyal public but also attract newcomers. Indeed, the average renewal rate of a festival is 39% per year, so it is necessary to attract more than a third of first-time spectators.

The sector was growing

The situation is less tense for theatrical, choreographic or, in the musical field, those which program jazz or classical repertoire. The public, generally older, is used to being seated and their desire for fusion is more aesthetic than physical. We see it for example with Montpellier Dance whose ticket office was stormed.

The health crisis came when the festival sector was growing. A study carried out on 1,400 of them showed that 33% had been created for less than ten years, largely compensating those who had to end their activity. The public authorities have largely supported the sector and the generously subsidized structures were able to get through this unique period without too much damage. Those who depend essentially on the revenue from their ticket office have benefited from the compensation mechanism put in place by the National Music Center, even if this type of device cannot be sustainable …

As for the public, I am convinced that their possible lack of confidence linked to the economic situation is not disenchantment and that the desire for culture remains strong. Let us count on this cautious reunion as a first step in the full return to festivals. “


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