The Survey: Facts & figures of the live music sector

What is the Survey?

Live DMA collects data of the venues and clubs part of the network every year, in order to monitor the situation of the live music sector in Europe. We have synchronised questions and definitions for all Live DMA members, and besides that, we provide our members with tools and guidance to improve their own observation work. Live DMA’s observation work is named ‘The Survey’, as part of the Live DMA project Live Style Europe, since 2017. It is a great tool to better understand the functioning of European live music scenes. The Survey presents details on the administrative formats, accomodations, functions, activities, audiences, human resources and financial situation of the European venues and clubs, as a crucial part of the live music ecosystem. The data collected provide a clear snapshot of the social, economic and cultural value of the sector.

Live DMA presents the key numbers in various publications since 2013, including recent reports on COVID-19 pandemic effects for music venues and clubs in 2020 and 2021, compared to the 2019 numbers. The data results are important for the representation of the live music venues and clubs on a local, regional, national, and European level. It helps policy makers to understand the role, capacities, and values of these live music entities. We encourage the use of The Survey to help the sector fulfill its objectives, such as being recognized as a crucial part of the cultural landscape.

Key numbers in a nutshell · venues & clubs

In 2019, for 2,280 venues and clubs part of the Live DMA network:

  281 000 live music events organised
  463 000 artist performances
  70 million audience visits, of which 80% paid an admission fee
  125 000 workers, of which 64,500 paid workers + over 48,000 volunteers
  Generating 1.7 billion euro income

In 2019, for 2,280 venues and clubs part of the Live DMA network:

39% are a non-profit organisation
85% of the organisations have other functions, such as social and educational functions, bar/restaurant functions, and multi-disciplinary functions such as cinema, theatre…
47% organises festivals
Most music venues are small with an audience capacity under 400.

Between 2019 and 2020, for the venues and clubs part of the Live DMA network:

75% less audience visits
62% of the music venues and clubs organised online music events
For private commercial structures (56% of the live dma venues and clubs), only 6% of the lost income was covered by covid support fund from governments

Facts & figures publications · venues & clubs

European venues & clubs, data 2019-2020

This Survey report shows key numbers of the impact of the pandemic during 2019 and 2020, which are still relevant nowadays in 2023. Indeed, we still see the negative effects of the pandemic upon

the live music scenes. The pandemic might be over, but many venues and clubs in Europe have a weakened and fragile position. When venues face the risk of negative financial results, they are often forced to cut back on talent development and personnel. Sufficient support for the live music sector by governments will therefore remain very necessary.

The European live music sector in times of pandemic

Since March 2020, most of the 3,253 live music venues and clubs represented by Live DMA and its members in 16 European countries are in survival mode. Due to government regulations,

music venues and clubs had to cancel or reschedule all their events. Due to the current restrictions, apart from small concerts and non-musical events, organizing concerts for larger audiences and club nights is still not possible at this moment.

This short report gives an overview on the impact of Covid-19 on 3,253 live music venues and clubs represented by Live DMA and its members. It includes key numbers on number of events, artist performances, audience visits, and loss of income in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019. The report also explains how venues and clubs are affected in regards of their business models.

A first year of COVID-19 for the live music scene

In March 2020, the live music sector had to shut down its activity due to a unprecedented situation: the COVID-19 pandemic. The first year of this pandemic was particulary harsch

for the sector, as live music venues, clubs and festivals had to cancel and reschedule all their event without knowing when they will be able to reopen. The pandemic had a enormous impact on the income, employment and structure of the sector.

This report study the impact of the pandemic on the 2600 music venues and clubs part of Live DMA in 2020.

European venues & clubs 2017 – data analysis

This study shows the results of the data collected on the venues’ and clubs’ activities in 2017. Data from 2016 of LiveKomm and PETZI venues was added to complete the 2017 data.

In 2017, Live DMA represented 2600 music venues in 14 European regions. The data analysis was carried out from September 2018 to May 2019.

The same 25 questions were sent to 1943 music venues of 14 different networks in 11 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and UK. Data of 604 venues were collected (31% response), which are in this study extrapolated to totals per Live DMA member and to all 2597 music venues within the Live DMA network.

This Survey Report was written in 2019 and published in January 2020.

European venues & clubs 2015 – data analysis

This study shows the results of the data collected on the venues’ and clubs’ activities in 2015. In 2015, Live DMA represented 2100 music venues in 13 European regions.

The data analysis was carried out from 2016 to 2017. The same questions were sent to 1100 music venues of 10 different networks in 5 countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Spain. Data of 452venues were collected (41% response), which are in this study extrapolated to totals per Live DMA member and to all 2109 music venues within the Live DMA network.

This Survey Report was written in 2017 and published in January 2018.

European venues & clubs 2013 – data analysis

The survey measures the venues activities and visits, employment and finances. This process will be repeated every year so we can draw trends and development out.

Live DMA gathers more than 1100 music venues in 8 European countries, through 10 representative organisations. For the Survey, 6 countries participated in the collect, so that involved 612 venues with an answers rate of 49%.

All the participating organisations have named a survey coordinator in their teams. These coordinators meet twice a year to discuss about their main issues and share the decisions which shape the survey each year.

Live DMA members key facts and figures · venues & clubs

Our members are active participants in The Survey as they collect the data from their venues and clubs using Live DMA’s questions and definitions. After collecting the data on national and regional levels, our Survey coordinator is assisting our members to analyse the situation of venues and clubs on a European level with a set of key indicators. This also leads to the possibility to understand the diversity of live music venues and clubs in different countries accross Europe. 

As an example, we see that characteristic business models in different European regions are mostly related to the administrative formats of the venues and clubs (public, non-profit or commercial).

Key numbers of music venues per Live DMA member

By following the links below, you can view some of the key facts & figures of the venues and clubs represented by our members in the different regions. Where possible, the pages also provide links to relevant data research of members itself or provided by members.

Live DMA memberRegionOverview key facts & figures
ACCESSpainOverview of facts & figures – ACCES
ASACCCataloniaOverview of facts & figures – ASACC
CLUBCIRCUITBelgium (Flanders)Overview of facts & figures – Clubcircuit
COURT-CIRCUITBelgium (Wallonia-Brussels)Overview facts & figures – Court-Circuit
DANSK LIVEDenmarkOverview of facts & figures – Dansk Live
FEDELIMAFranceOverview of facts & figures – FEDELIMA
KEEPON LIVEItalyOverview of facts & figures – KeepOn Live
LIVE MUSIC ESTONIAEstoniaOverview of facts & figures – Live Music Estonia
LIVE FINFinlandOverview of facts & figures – LiveFIN
NORWEGIAN LIVENorwayOverview of facts & figures – Norwegian Live
PETZISwitzerlandOverview of facts & figures – PETZI
VNPFThe NetherlandsOverview of facts & figures – VNPF

We have also compiled all the data reports our members did, often in their national languages. Check it out here.

Live DMA inventory

Live DMA inventory is a useful tool that helps mapping the European live music sector. It shows the representation of the network with two main data: the number of venues, clubs and festivals per countries & their legal status.

Methodology of the Survey

Since 2012, data collection and sector monitoring has been one of Live DMA’s first major pillar. As such, Live DMA is in a leading position when it comes to data collection on the live music sector and by the live music sector.

Developing our own methodology is a strong asset: we build a trustful relationship with the venues and clubs taking part in this project by analyzing their needs and building the necessary support structures. It is also a great capacity building exercise, as our members learn how to collect data and use the Survey as an advocacy tool at national level.

As Live DMA and its members own their data, we can also be reactive to quickly develop new research when needed, as it was the case during the COVID-19 crisis, for instance.

Although we publish our findings only every two years, the Survey is repeated every year to keep track of current numbers and situation of the venues and clubs, but also with the aim to discover trends and developments.