Barcelona surpasses Madrid in live music revenue, hitting all-time high

€132m spent on concert and festival tickets in 2023 in Barcelona region

Fans during a Calvin Harris concert at 2023 Primavera Sound, in Barcelona
Fans during a Calvin Harris concert at 2023 Primavera Sound, in Barcelona / Jordi Borràs
Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | @enGuifre | Barcelona

May 20, 2024 12:47 PM

Barcelona surpassed Madrid in live music revenue in 2023, according to a paper by OBS Business School from data published by Spain's association of music promoters.

The Catalan capital received €132 million in concert and festival tickets last year, which accounts for almost a quarter of the total revenue of musical events in Spain (22.9%).

The figure is significantly higher than that of Madrid, which stood at €94 million (16.3% of the total).

In 2022, it was Madrid the city in Spain with most sales out of these events, with €103 million, as Barcelona dragged behind at €77 million.

Yet, last year, the Catalan capital region has skyrocketed in live music sales reaching a figure that has no matches in any year or Spanish territory in the past.

In the past few years, the two cities have battled it out for the first place, with Barcelona achieving this goal in 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2023.

Primavera Sound, Sónar and Cruïlla, topping the Catalan rankings

According to the business school report, Primavera Sound was the top music festival in the Catalan city in 2023, with 243,000 attendees – a figure only surpassed by Burriana's Arenal Sound, yet, with a much lower economic impact and number of concerts.

Primavera Sound drags mostly foreigners (52%), from countries such as Germany, the UK, Italy, France and Portugal, and, after Mobile World Congress, it is the international event with a higher economic impact in the city, at €150 million.

Sónar, with an impact of €50 million and 120,000 attendees last year, and Cruïlla, with 76,000 tickets sold in 2023, are the other two major festivals in both Barcelona and the whole of Catalonia.

OBS Business School report also states that the average price for a live music event ticket has skyrocketed from €58 to €80 in a year, a 48% increase.