(VIP-Booking) — Montreux Jazz Festival is a renowned music festival held annually in Montreux, Switzerland across two weeks in July. Now in its 57th year, the festival draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the world and artists from all music genres to the Lake Geneva shoreline.
VIP-News spoke with CEO Mathieu Jaton about the year that just ended and his expectations for 2023.
After two years with limited touring the Live Industry is now back in biz, how has 2022 been for your business?
2022 was a very good year, with a lot of expectation from the audience and the artists to come back on stage. Our ticketing worked well and broke records compared to previous years.
What do you think are going to be the biggest challenges for the International Live Music industry in 2023?
We feel that the live market has gone haywire. The big tours are getting bigger and bigger and the middle capacity events are finding it harder and harder to keep up with the cost of touring. This expansionist madness where everything costs more and more without really adding value is never a good sign in an exploding economy.
Even though the last few years have seen many agents leaving majors and starting up on their own, we have also seen many companies being acquired by major promoters and agencies, how do you see this affecting the Live Industry?
The problem with this environment is that it is one of the only international economies that is not regulated by anything and where everyone in the chain is paid by commission. In such a system, the interests of the artist or the public are no longer at stake, but only the financial interests of each of the players in the chain. The immediate result is an attempt to cut out the middleman and consolidate an edifice that looks more like a house of cards.
Since the pandemic we have seen a reduction in the number of people involved in production (such as lighting, sound and security). How is the situation for you and what can the industry do to get enough staff members and bring people back to working in the live business?
This is not specific to the music industry, but it is a clear and real fact that the job insecurity that this sector offers is fundamentally challenging the commitment of some people to the business. The question is not whether it will be dangerous for our profession, but rather how we in the music business can make things change so that the working conditions of these people are more decent.
Do you expect the industry to grow in 2023 compared to 2022 and why?
2022 was a euphoric parenthesis. I fear that this return to normal was only the illusion of a stabilization of a market, and that COVID has pushed us to a change that we actors of this business can’t all really already see.