This summer of 2022 is sure to be a record number of festivals in the department. With at least eighteen such events in the four corners of the Pyrénées-Orientales. A business that can be lucrative for organizers, both private and public, and makes a strong tourist argument, according to the latest studies on the subject. But to stand out and attract more and more audiences, investments are essential. Decipher the economic importance of festivals with the two local giants: Les Déferlantes and Electrobeach.
In 2022, the festivals of the Pyrénées-Orientales want more than ever, given the competition, to do well. Before that, no secret: you have to invest.
In the production of Frontera, the relocation of Les Déferlantes from Argelès-sur-Mer to Céret is a very important economic issue. Ultimately, Les Déferlantes aims to become one of the five biggest festivals in France. To compete with the Vieilles Charrues (270,000 spectators in 2019) or Solidays (228,000 festival-goers in 2019), the Def’ has to invest heavily. †This year we have 55 artists who are referencesexplains Fabrice Lorente, co-director of La Frontera, post-Covid programming costs have skyrocketed. Some managers are charging fees that are much higher than the 30% increase from 2019. But we want to go up. The cost of the 2022 program is exactly double that of 2019.†
After two years of scarcity, faced with the collective resumption of festivals, artists are pushing up the price of these services, their main source of income. †Since the crisis of the disc, the musicians live thanks to life, that is, their tours and the festivals“, confirms Fabrice Lorente, but that is necessary to stand out in the department.
We exploded the original budget of 9 million euros
Catching the large Muse fish, the Déferlantes have strengthened their communication beyond the borders of the Pyrénées-Orientales, especially in the south of Catalonia. This all has a price. A month and a half before the festival, the costs have not yet been settled. †We exploded the original budget of 9 million eurosassures the co-director of La Frontera. This year we will not be profitable. We know. Our income is divided into third parties and comes from ticketing, private partnerships and consumption on site†
The Déferlantes deployment has not yet succeeded, but certain signals are on the green. The counter has grown constantly and gradually since it opened. Every evening the symbolic threshold of 17,000 places, or the capacity of Valmy, is crossed.
These major events inevitably affect the area’s economy. If the Déferlantes are going to do a study in that direction this year, the Electrobeach du Barcarès would have already calculated it for the Covid era. In 2019, the last normal year for this sector of activity, the mayor of Barcarès Alain Ferrand explained that for an investment of 8 million euros, the direct and indirect economic benefits amounted to around 25 million euros. An envelope that was found in transport, accommodation, catering and leisure. Because the Electrobeach festival goers, who numbered more than 150,000 in 2019, sometimes come from far to attend the event. While 35% are from Occitania, 55% are from other regions and 11% are international. †We are a festival of general interest for the city of Barcarès, but also for the areaAlain Ferrand insists. We have created a whole ecosystem around Electrobeach which is a great promotion of the department on a national scale.†
For this 2022 edition, the investment for Electrobeach is “substantially similar to 2019, although we are weakenedaccepts the mayor of Barcarès. In 2020 we had already paid the artists, so it was a loss. Then we had to pay back the festival goers who wanted it. And we got no help. Local institutions do not support us when we should work together given the economic benefits that Electrobeach generates†
“Multiply the festivals yes, but in harmony with the calendar”
On June 17 and 18, Maury will celebrate the 20e edition of Women’s Voices. Louane, Camelia Jordana or Marie-Flore are the poster for this anniversary event. This festival, organized by the municipality, attracts between 2,000 and 4,000 spectators per evening, depending on the artists programmed. †We do not intend to blow up the meters, but only to respect the financial balance and have a fund to start over the following year, admits Charles Chivilo, the city councilor† Our role is mainly to bring culture to the heart of rural areas, so that it is not concentrated in places that are already touristic.“And if Voice of Women has always found its place among the summer festivals, the Chief Magistrate has some concerns.”It’s a big disappointment that Bacchus came on our dates. I am all for the multiplication of festivals, but we must respect the harmony of the calendar†