Just before the pandemic, the Spanish live sector posted record turnover and five consecutive years of growth. And although all this has ceased because of the Covid-19, business is picking up.
The WiZink Center in Madrid is one of the main sites in the country. General Manager Manuel Saucedo says that now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, the venue is experiencing one of the busiest times in its existence. “We anticipate an extraordinary 2022, and 2023 will also be eventful.
“Something we’ve noticed is that promoters and artists are increasingly valuing the quality of venues, even for stadium-level shows. There have been negative experiences [at other venues]therefore the fans are more and more demanding – they want quality, comfort and greater proximity to the artist.
“We anticipate an extraordinary 2022, and 2023 will also be eventful.”
The 17,453 capacity arena can now provide promoters with a permanent rider of onstage lighting, sound and screens to make shows cheaper and easier to produce. “This brave move is a huge step forward and is much appreciated by the organisers. Obviously the bigger tours don’t use it, but around 60% of the gigs that come here have already opted for this option.
The site’s premium and VIP areas have been upgraded, with Saucedo reporting an increase in companies wanting to have their own VIP box. As a result, rental costs for developers have remained unchanged since 2014, he says. WiZink Center can be configured for between 3,000 and 17,453.
At the time of this writing, he was working on creating a small capacity space, separate from the ground floor, for around 900 people. “The goal is to have an almost daily schedule of amateur bands and artists,” Saucedo explains. “We want to open the WiZink Center in Madrid to bands new to music so they can fill our stands in the future.”
“We want to open the WiZink Center in Madrid to bands new to music so they can fill our stands in the future.”
Artists performing there include Dua Lipa, Alicia Keys, KISS, Harry Styles and Rosalía. Also in Madrid, Palacio Vistalegre has a well-stocked calendar. General Manager Daniela Bosé said the second half of 2022 has a solid roster of rock and metal acts, such as Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Evanescence, Alter Bridge and Airbourne.
Esports remains popular, and K-Pop continues to grow in popularity. The Palacio Vistalegre has “taken advantage” of the closures to improve its facilities. “We have new areas such as black box locker rooms and main locker room upgrades, box upgrades, new kitchen, new flooring in the main hall etc. We have increased our premium branded F&B offering and are using the Gopick app and QR access so people can order from their seats.
Upcoming acts at the venue, which can hold between 2,700 and 14,000 people, include Conan Gray, ATEEZ, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Ghost. Carme Lanuza, director of the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, says the resilience with which her team has faced the health crisis has demonstrated their commitment to music.
“The concert program has a huge and rich offer and will make up for lost time.”
“We are confident that our offering speaks for itself and that we will exceed pre-pandemic numbers. “Despite all the difficulties, we are very excited about the renewal we are experiencing. The concert program is vast and rich and will make up for lost time.
This allows us to focus on the internationalization of our music, sustainability, social inclusion, equality, accessibility and improving the experience, as well as technological innovation and the improvement of places. .
The venue recently increased its capacity to 18,411, but it can also host concerts for 5,000 people at its Sant Jordi Club. La Nueva Cubierta (10,000 capacity) in Madrid runs a wide variety of events but mainly focuses on music. Its offer to promoters is that it has low rental costs because its parent company Grupo Friends is a production rental company, offering customers the option of renting everything they need, from staging and sound. lighting and furniture.
Upcoming shows include Alice Cooper and Hallowants. With a capacity of 10,000 seats on the ground, the Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, in the north of the country, has a maximum capacity of 18,000 seats. It has peripheral access to the premises, a large parking lot for production, parking for heavy goods vehicles, sleepers, ambulances, merchandising, large work spaces, as well as a sound system, accessible services and from a nearby metro station. Upcoming events include Hans Zimmer Live and the I Love Reggaeton Festival.