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Barcelona's performing arts summer festival Grec attracts 80,000 spectators, filling 58% of the potential capacity

This year's edition of Barcelona's performing arts summer festival, Grec, attracted around 80,000 spectators and achieved a 58.15% capacity utilisation in the shows which require payment. According to provisional statistics, taken before the event was over, for the 79 shows that made up the summer festival there were 136,291 seats available and 67,623 tickets were sold, filling 49.61% of the potential capacity. However, overall there was total of 79,254 spectators. Last year 66,466 people attended the shows which required payment and 55,766 tickets were sold. The total number of spectators who attended the festival this year, both paying customers and those who went to free shows, amounted to 127,471 people, whilst in 2013 there were 119,000 individuals.

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01 August 2014 08:56 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).– This year's edition of Barcelona's performing arts summer festival, Grec, attracted around 80,000 spectators and achieved a 58.15% capacity utilisation in the shows which required payment. According to the provisional statistics released earlier this week, taken before the event was over, for the 79 shows that made up the summer festival there were 136,291 seats available and 67,623 tickets were sold, filling 49.61% of the potential capacity. However, overall there was total of 79,254 spectators. Last year there were 66,466 people who attended the shows which required payment, and 55,766 tickets were sold. The total number of international spectators that attended the festival this year, both paying customers and those who went to free shows, amounted to 127,471 people, whilst in 2013 they made up 119,000 members of the audience. The majority of the festival takes place outdoors in an old reconstruction of a Greek amphitheatre on a hill in central Barcelona, Montjuïc. This festival is a classic milestone of Barcelona's summertime and this year it reached its 38th edition.


In this year's edition of the Grec Festival, there were 79,254 spectators who went to see the  shows which require payment. In addition to this, there were 35,728 people who attended parallel events which had an entry fee; plus 8,494 individuals who attended free shows with limited space available; 3,743 who went to see free shows without a limited capacity; and 252 who went to professional meetings related to the festival. In total this made up 127,471 attendees. According to estimated figures released on the 27th of July, there were 79 shows that required payment and offered a maximum seating capacity of 136,291, of which 67,623 tickets were sold (a 49.61% capacity utilization). However, the total number of spectators for these shows was 79,254 (filling 58.15% of the potential capacity).

In respect to the ticket sales by genre, the 4 circus shows sold a total of 2,282 tickets (a 65.61% capacity utilization) and had a total of 2,626 spectators (75.5% of the entire capacity). The 11 dance shows sold 8,487 tickets (49.54%) and had 11,682 spectators (68.2%). The 27 music concerts sold 22,441 tickets (51.87%) and had 24,824 audience members (57.38%). Finally, the 32 plays sold 34,413 tickets (47.51%) and had a total of 40,122 spectators (55.39%).

A wide range of successful shows

The festival's Director, Ramon Simó, spoke this week in a press conference, accompanied by Barcelona's Deputy Mayor for Culture, Jaume Ciurana. Simó commented that, "despite all of the risks, the compromises in the programme and the more contemporary pieces, we will end the event with some good viewing figures, and the goals that we laid out in the first year [in office] are being met little by little". He went on to say, "our clear objective is to increasingly expose the public from Barcelona to the more elaborate forms and content that are being produced within the arts at the moment".

Simó stressed that this year several shows were sold out, such as: El Testamento de María (based on The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín), the children's show Piu Piu and L'ombra de Pinotxo (in English, The Shadow of Pinocchio), Tasta, Toca, Olora (in English, Taste, Touch, Smell), Vader (In English, Father,) A House in Asia, Shell, Nadia, Rhum, the dance shows Cal·ligrames en Moviment (In English, Calligrams in Movement) and Dot, and concerts from Olafur Arnalds, Ludovico Einaudi, Iván Ferreiro and Joe Satriani. Furthermore, some of the shows had a very high utilisation capacity such as the concert by Els Amics de les Arts, which had a 94.49% capacity utilization (1,989 spectators) or, as Simó highlighted, the plays La Partida (Dealer's Choice) with 7,859 spectators (84.79% of the potential capacity) and Vells Temps (Old Times)with 2,859 spectators (75.42% of the potential capacity).

In contrast, Merda d'Artista (Shit Artist, in English) had just a 22.1% capacity utilization (2,199 spectators). However, Simó defended the show, saying that these low viewing figures were due to "an error in programming and timetabling".

A reduction to the number of shows in 2015

Simó emphasised a number of improvements that should be made to next year's Grec Festival. Amongst other changes, he mentioned that there will be a reduction to the number of shows, which this year reached 79. He commented, "we have to try to think more realistically about things". Even so, Simó went on to say, "the programme this year has been generally strong, very well received and a model that has been perfectly implemented". "The model has been understood" he said, and the "unconventional use of space, the creation of the music programme in three different formats and the consolidation of the Mini Grec [the children's festival] have helped to justify the model".

Simó also made a reference to several of the shows that would go on tour after the festival such as: M.U.R.S, Hostiando a M (in English, Beating off M), Krum, Victòria Enric V, A House in House, Shakespeare on the Beat, Numax, Testamento de María, Nadia, Le Capital, La Partida, Vells Temps, Lonely Together, Disbarat (in English, Nonsense) and Patatu, among others.

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  • The dance show 'Sun' by Hofesh Shechter (by Gabriele Zucca)

  • The dance show 'Sun' by Hofesh Shechter (by Gabriele Zucca)