Covid leaves great losses and overturns cultural consumption in Spain

Covid leaves great losses and overturns cultural consumption in Spain

COVID-19 severely affected a good part of the culture sector, with the closure and subsequent limitation of any space for the concentration of spectators or consumers of artistic products, which translates into millionaires economic and job losses in Spain.

But while music, art, cinema or gastronomy saw their numbers plummet, the exceptional circumstances favored cultural manifestations that can be practiced at home such as reading, television or video games.

In any case, the slogan of “culture is safe” proved true: Health only had knowledge of seven outbreaks in cultural activities with 73 infections, according to data sent to Efe.

At the moment, losses in the live music sector could exceed 1.2 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars), according to estimates by the national federation Es Música. If the indirect impact is measured, especially in the hospitality industry, his calculations rise to more than 7,000 million euros (8,300 million dollars).

The Union of Professional Musicians stated in November that three out of four active professionals had reduced their activity by more than 90% and 75% also had no concert in anticipation for the first half of this year.

In audiovisual production there is no calculation of losses, but between March and August 2020 the stoppage was total. In August, filming was resumed, but with an extra cost of around 15%, Emma Lustres, producer of Vaca Films and member of the State Film Association (AEC), told Efe, especially for PCR tests, cleaning and staff from substitution.

At screening, box office revenues in 2020 fell more than 72%, although Spanish cinema fared relatively better (fell 55%). Today more than half of the cinemas remain closed due to the pandemic.

The theater is experiencing a “critical situation”, according to the theater producer and president of the Academy of Performing Arts of Spain, Jesús Cimarro.

The National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (Inaem), on which the National Dramatic Center and the National Ballet of Spain depend, among others, registered a drop of 64, 75%%, and in the private theater sector, a An example of the situation is the bolt to the musicals on the Gran Vía in Madrid.

Spanish museums suffered a 70% drop in visitors in 2020, nothing seen since the time of the civil war (1936-1939). The figure translates into millionaire losses in the case of large museums and in a matter of survival for the smallest. As an example, the Museo Del Prado lost about 20 million euros ($24 million) in 2020.

The book sector did not fare so badly and even some genres, such as literature and essays, registered a slight increase in sales, although there was a collapse of close to 50% in exports. The pandemic did not allow the holding of two major events for the sector, Sant Jordi in Barcelona and the Madrid Book Fair.

The Spanish television audiovisual sector is experiencing a golden age: the “stay at home” made in recent months audience records were achieved (especially in the hardest months of confinement) and average consumption increased (7.5% on average in 2020, according to the Barlovento consultancy).

Free-to-air television enjoyed good data and video-on-demand platforms had a strong increase in subscribers, and they launched into a struggle to produce their own series and films.

The video game sector did not stop growing either, despite delays in launches and the cancellation of large fairs. The confinement increased consumption through the internet, which benefited other platforms and business areas such as mobile gaming or esports.

In the fashion sector, figures fell sharply and almost 24% of businesses (39,592) had to close, according to Acotex (a textile trade business organization).

“The restrictions and the complicated health situation have caused the cancellation of events and social calls. If we add to this the situation of economic uncertainty, the consumption of the creations of our designers has been withdrawn to a minimum”, explains the president of the Association of Fashion Creators of Spain (ACME), Modesto Lomba.

The world of bullfighting came to a standstill, including all the major fairs, and at the end of the season there were only 63 major celebrations. In 2020, 56 matadors fought, compared to 144 in 2019.

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