The ongoing pandemic has put the music culture and live industry on pause. However, recent figures and studies have shown, that the lack of cultural experiences is already putting high pressure on the upcoming concerts and festivals in 2022 – and that the audience is ready for action as soon as the restrictions ease.
When the British government announced that major events without social distancing such as major concerts, sporting events and festivals could be arranged again in 2021, a staggering 170,000 tickets to the Reading, Leeds and Creamfields festivals sold out in 72 hours. Across the Atlantic, something similar was seen with the Rolling Loud festival, which kicks off in Florida in July, 85,000 tickets were sold in just two hours after being released and left 30,000 people on the waiting list.
A recent survey conducted by ticket giant Ticketmaster among its customers showed that the pandemic has created a great desire for concert and festival experiences. An impressive 82 percent of those surveyed expect to spend as much money on music experiences, and even more, than they did before the pandemic.
Fewer tickets for sale
Another matter that speaks for a record year for ticket sales in 2022 is that 93 percent of the respondents to the survey stated, that they keep their purchased tickets from events that have been moved to later dates. Like many other festivals, Way Out West was forced to cancel their 2020 edition, but in line with Ticketmaster’s survey, around nine out of ten have chosen to keep their tickets, which also means that fewer new tickets are on sale.
– Niche and established festivals like Way Out West have a very loyal audience, for which we are incredibly grateful. There are many who have held on tight to their tickets. As soon as the restrictions are eased, things will explode. There will be a bit of a ketchup effect and we will probably be able to move towards sold out in record time, just like our international colleagues, says Patrick Fredriksson, Festival Director at Luger and Live Nation.
Joppe Pihlgren, operations manager at Svensk Live, has similar expectations:
– It is obvious that the audience longs for concerts and festivals and will attend these events at least as often as in 2019. For us, it is important that the businesses survive so that they can do what the audiences expect.
More tours in 2022
It’s not just festivals that may be facing a record year 2022. 74 percent of all fans want artists to release tour dates, in order to have something to look forward to next year, and news are that twice as many artists plan to tour 2022 as the time before the pandemic. Some artists have already announced their tour schedules, including Zara Larsson who will play five large Nordic arenas already in November/December 2021, and Molly Sandén, who has announced nine stops for her Swedish arena tour in February/March 2022.
Micael Dahlén, professor of economics at the Stockholm School of Economics, believes that the development follows a clear path:
– People are going to celebrate the freedom they will get back after the restrictions are lifted. We see it in countries that have opened up earlier and we will see it in Sweden as well, in many contexts and not least in terms of experiences.