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The economic impact of the event in Catalonia amounts almost 95 million euros largely due to its powerful tourist appeal, according to the recent study by the consultancy firm Dentsu Aegis

The people of Barcelona have a very positive view of the festival that supplies them with first class music and offers a large number of free activities

Primavera Sound will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in 2015 as a reference on the international cultural calendar that generates an indisputable economic, social and media impact, as demonstrated in the study carried out by the leading company in strategic consultancy Dentsu Aegis at the last edition in May 2014. In a year marked by the decline in audience numbers in most musical events celebrated on Spanish territory, the Barcelona festival, that has grown progressively from its modest beginnings, programmed at its last edition 348 concerts and received a total of 191,800 visits, that represented a 12% increase compared to 2013. The recent Premio Ondas for The Best Musical Spectacle 2014 and its being flagged up by the Observatorio de la Cultura as the most important musical event in Spain in 2013 constitutes the public recognition earned through fourteen years of existence.

As well as confirming its consolidation on the international map of festivals, the study offers a detailed cross section of its public and gives indicators of the degree of acceptance and recognition of the festival by the people of Barcelona through two complementary surveys, one in situ with the spectators of the event and the other by telephone with inhabitants of Barcelona chosen at random. With a sample of almost equal numbers of men and women, the profile of a Primavera Sound spectator is of a person with an average age of between 25 and 35 years, with a mid to high-end purchasing power and who is faithful to the festival this being reflected in the fact that almost half of those polled had previously attended. The atmosphere, artistic line and sound quality being cited as the most highly valued elements. The foreign audience represents 46% and comes from more than 140 countries, yet this international element does not prevent the musical event from strengthening its sphere of influence nearer home as 26% of the total audience are from Barcelona itself. 

Since its inception, the festival has endeavoured to establish a bond with Barcelona and remains deeply rooted in the city that saw its birth and is very well-considered by its inhabitants, who enjoy its musical programme which extends well beyond the three main days in the Parc del Fòrum. The considerable output of free music, on offer every May in several venues around the city under the name of Primavera a la Ciutat, last year drew a total of 22,500 people.

According to the findings of the telephone survey, the people of Barcelona have a great interest in music. In fact, those polled state that Primavera Sound promotes the image of Barcelona as a cultural city and they are proud that it hosts an event of such characteristics. The acceptance of the festival is also evident through the calculation of its contingent value –an indicator of the hypothetical financial value given to an event by the inhabitants–, that is situated at an intermediate value of over 12 million euros, using as an exclusive reference those who declare themselves to be music fans and who attend live concerts at least once a year.

The results of the study also show that the people of Barcelona consider that Primavera Sound works as an economic motor mainly thanks to its powerful tourist appeal and its capacity as a generator of employment. Likewise, 80% think that the celebration of the event outweighs the small inconveniences that it may cause, such as noise pollution or traffic problems, and up to 91% consider that the event is perfectly suited to the city. A similar percentage value the cooperation between public and private organisations in the setting up of this type of spectacle and over half state that the Barcelona Town Hall should contribute to the setting up of the festival. Along the same line, 74% declared that public spending on this type of event should increase, or should at least remain stable. Currently, in the case of Primavera Sound public funding received is under 2% of the total budget that is over 11 million euros, of which private contributions by sponsors represents approximately 15%.

As it is an urban festival that has an audience with a mid to high-end purchasing power, the audience’s direct expenditure is close to 40 million euro with an average expenditure of 544€ per capita, an amount that goes up to 780€ in the case of those who have travelled to attend the festival and goes down to 226€ when talking about residents of Barcelona. This amount includes the purchase of the full festival ticket, of which the price starts at 99€, rising progressively to 195€ with an average price of 150€, as well as travel and accommodation costs incurred by visitors, who generate a total of 27,802 flights and 129,264 overnight stays in accommodation of different categories, without including those incurred by the organisation, with an average of 5.1 nights per visitor. As well as these amounts, the amounts generated outside the festival site are also calculated, such as transport, restaurants, cultural activities and purchases made in the shops around the city.

One part of the foreign festivalgoers are professionals from the music sector who come to Barcelona to participate in PrimaveraPro, an event that runs parallel to Primavera Sound and acts as a meeting point for the sector, it helps create synergies between national and international agents and represents an interesting contribution to the industrial cultural fabric of Catalonia. The meeting has grown steadily since it started in 2010 and at its last edition attracted 2653 participants from 58 countries.

As for the media dimension, the exhaustive coverage of the musical event by both national and international press is well worth mentioning, especially since it demonstrates the event’s ever increasing repercussions that contribute to projecting Barcelona internationally thanks to appearances in prestigious publications such as The New York times, O Globo, NME and La Repubblica. Also the original and creative communication campaigns developed recently have intensified its presence all around the world through social networks. The economic vale of all this media impact generated by the event reached almost 8.7 million euros at the last edition, according to calculation with the strict guidelines of Advertising Value Equivalency. The popularity of Primavera Sound has grown with time and this year has become the best known festival among the people of Barcelona, who mention it spontaneously in 38% of cases, a figure that has increased by 12 points since 2011 and puts the festival at the top of Spanish festivals. The total recognition reaches 88% when adding the spontaneous recognition to recognition when prompted by interviewer. 

If to the direct income from the budget of the organisation itself, the investment by sponsors and collaborators and the expenditure of the people attending the festival we add the induced value, that includes the contingent valuation, the media value and the revenues for Inland Revenue, the impact of the festival on the Catalan economy reaches the global figure of 94,813,790€ and this places it among the “top five” events making the greatest economic contribution to the community.

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