Informe OBS Hero Festivales de Música 2024

OBS Report: Economic Impact on the Live Music Industry 2024

Informes |

The live music industry places Spain among the 15 most important markets in the world

Portada Informe Festivales de Música 2024



  • With a turnover of 578 million euros, the sector in Spain reaches record figures thanks to a 48% increase in ticket prices.
  • Barcelona overtakes Madrid as the city with the highest income from music events. Behind them are Malaga and Seville.
  • Boys and girls aged between 18 and 24 increase their attendance by 44% thanks to the "Bono Cultural Joven".
  • The Arenal Sound in Burriana becomes the most attended Spanish festival, surpassing Primavera Sound Barcelona.
  • Sustainability, security and the lack of big headliners are the major challenges facing the sector. The organisers are calling for the cession of spaces, help in obtaining activity licences and a firm commitment to direct collaboration in terms of safety and mobility.

May 2024. OBS Business School publishes the report Economic Impact on the Live Music Industry 2024, written by teacher collaborator Elena Mir. It analyses the economic data and trends in this sector, which in 2023 earned 578 million euros - 26% more than the previous year -, record figures that make Spain the world's leading destination for festival tourism and live music in the world. The report forecasts sustained growth for the sector in the coming years, despite the fact that the consumption of streaming music or live streaming is consolidating as a cheaper alternative for accessing this type of event.

Barcelona, with a turnover of 132 million (26% of total net turnover), overtook Madrid for the first time in 2023 (94 million, 16%). They were followed by Malaga and Seville. ‘In view of these figures, American investment funds are buying Spanish festivals, confident of the economic benefits they will bring them,’ says Elena Mir. In fact, some festivals traditionally linked to their place of origin have expanded their borders, such as Primavera Sound, which is holding a double edition in Barcelona and Madrid and is also extending into Latin America with new formats dependent on the same franchise. But these excellent turnover figures are not due to the increase in the number of spectators, which is still lower than in the years prior to 2020, but to the 48% increase in ticket prices, with an average of €80 compared to €58 the previous year.

The profile of concert-goers is still mainly people between 35 and 44 years old, however, in 2023 young people between 18 and 24 years old increased their attendance by 44%, probably due to the creation of the Bono Cultural Joven. Generally speaking, it is estimated that 10% of the young people who go to music events in Spain come from outside the country. Primavera Sound, for example, attracts mostly foreign audiences (52%) from countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Portugal and, to a lesser extent, from Eastern European countries and the American continent. This festival has become the international event with the greatest economic impact on Barcelona after the Mobile World Congress, with income from the tourism it attracts amounting to 13,853 million euros, according to data from the INE.

The top ten Spanish tours brought together almost 2 million spectators in Spain in 2023, with national artists consolidating their dominance: David Bisbal was the singer who gave the most concerts (46), followed by Melendi (37), Pablo López (32), Joaquín Sabina (31), Manuel Carrasco, Marea, Lola Índigo, Hombres G, Aitana and Pablo Alborán. However, the artist who sold the most tickets was Manuel Carrasco (365,652), followed by Melendi (308,258). Among the international artists who came to our country, Coldplay achieved the highest ticket sales, 221,000 for their four concerts in Barcelona, which were sold in just 24 hours.

On the other hand, Arenal Sound in Burriana was in 2023 the festival that gathered the most fans (300,000 sounders), leaving in second place Primavera Sound in Barcelona (243,000) and in third place the Viña Rock festival in Villarrobledo (240,000). Behind, Mad Cool (202,000 attendees), FIB (180,000) and Primavera Sound Madrid, which had 150,000 attendees in its first and eventful edition. The festival O son do camino climbed three positions in the ranking thanks to its 134,000 attendees, just a few tickets behind Resurrection Fest in Lugo (132,000). After them, the Sónar in Barcelona (120,000 spectators) and the Cruïlla festival (76,000). As for the Cycle Festivals, Fuengirola's Marenostrum was once again the leader with 190,000 followers, followed by Madrid's Noches del Botánico, which captivated more than 150,000 people in 45 days full of music. Las Noches del Malecón also stood out with 130,000 attendees. In terms of turnover, Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Madrid had the best figures: 150 million euros respectively.

Obstacles and challenges for the sector

Two factors marked the production of large-scale events in 2023 and will do so again this year: sustainability and safety. The footprint left by these festivals is due, on the one hand, to the 5.2 kg of CO2 generated by each attendee, and on the other, to the energy needs of the venue to ensure its lighting and special effects (34%) and the movement of the public (33%). Therefore, from next July, a series of actions included in Royal Decree 1055/2022 (December 2022) will be implemented for cultural and sporting events, such as the management of a system of returnable cups with a deposit return guarantee and the provision of non-packaged drinking water supply points for all attendees. Some events have anticipated these measures, such as the Cruïlla festival in Barcelona, the first to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. For live music producers, tackling these aspects of improvement has meant a significant additional cost and, consequently, a drop in profits. For this reason, the sector is calling for more support and subsidies to be able to continue investing in what have been the weak points in the organisation of music events.

On the other hand, the big stars of the musical universe have abandoned the festival format to promote their solo tours, in which the economic benefit is much greater than that of shared billboards. This situation has led to a shortage of groups and singers who are likely to become headliners, with the consequent increase in the prices of those who are still committed to the macro-festival format. For all these reasons, the organisers of music events are calling for initiatives that directly contribute to consolidating Spain's leading position as a benchmark destination for musical entertainment, such as the transfer of venues, some aid for obtaining activity licences and a firm commitment to direct collaboration in terms of security and mobility.

Festivals scheduled for 2024

  • Viña Rock - Recinto Ferial Villarrobledo, Albacete from 2 to 4 May
  • Tomavistas - Caja Mágica, Madrid from 24th and 25th May
  • Primavera Sound Barcelona - Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona from May 29 to June 2
  • O Son do Camiño 2024 - Monte de Gozo, Santiago de Compostela from 30 May to 1 June
  • Sónar 2024 - Fira Montjuïc / Fira Gran Via L'Hospitalet, Barcelona from 13 to 15 June
  • Mallorca Live Festival - Antiguo Aquapark de Calvià, Mallorca from 13 to 15 June
  • Azkena Rock Festival - Recinto de Mendizabala, Vitoria-Gasteiz from 20th to 22nd of June
  • Resurrection Fest - Viveiro, Lugo from 26th to 29th of June
  • Mad Cool - Iberdrola Music Venue, Madrid from 10 to 13 July
  • Bilbao BBK Live - Kobetamendi, Bilbao 11 to 13 July
  • Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, FIB - Benicàssim, Castellón 18 to 20 July
  • Arenal Sound - Burriana (Castellón) 30 July to 4 August
  • Sonorama Ribera 2024 - Aranda del Duero, Burgos from 7 to 11 August
  • Canela Party - Recinto Ferial de Torremolinos, Málaga from the 21st to the 24th of August
  • Riverland - El Valle de la Música, Arriondas-Cangas de Onís, Asturias from 23rd to 25th August

Content written by:
Carmen García-Trevijano
OBS Business School Press Office