Improvement of the access conditions to national and international markets of live arts SMEs by live arts market platforms and small-scale subsidies.
One of the major challenges for the live arts SMEs is to capture the attention of live arts programmers just when their productions are rehearsed in front of sophisticated audiences that may react to their creative proposals.
A long established tradition of organizing annual live arts fairs in medium sized Catalan cities has been redefined to develop market platforms for live arts disciplines.
Selected international artists and a specific agenda of workshops and seminars may attract the interest of national and international live arts programmers.
The development of regional creative hubs is achieved by creating permanent activities in the host cities, like artists residences and continuous training programs, the whole year round.
The main stakeholders are the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) and the respective City councils involved, which provide financial support to the markets' organizers. The beneficiaries are the artists and the creative and cultural companies that take part in the events, the live arts programmers and the audiences that assist the performances. The rest of the local economy is also benefitting from the indirect economic activity generated.
Small scale incentives are provided by ICEC in the form of grants (up to €20,000 per project) to foster CCIs internationalization, which may offer the opportunity to attend other international live arts fairs.

Resources needed

During 2017, ICEC awarded €1.2M to organize five market events. The financial support ranged from € 150,000 up to €400,000. City councils complemented the organization's budget.
In the same period, a total of 178 SMEs internationalization actions were awarded with a total of some €200,000.

Evidence of success

Contracted volume in local live arts markets is raising.In 2016, almost €4M in contracts were signed in the Live Music Market of Vic, where 402 companies, 570 professionals of 20 different countries and 132 journalists were accredited.
In 2017, a total of 178 internationalization actions were awarded.
Multiplying effects. According to EC impact studies, the indirect business generated in the local economy may represent ten times the initial public investment.

Potential for learning or transfer

The access conditions of SMEs to national and international live arts markets may improve dramatically by combining the two described actions: the organization of local live arts markets and the provision of small scale incentives to foster local CCI to implement international commercial actions.
The organizers tend to follow conventional approaches limiting their objectives to cultural dissemination and economic promotion of the cities. The good practice of ICEC can be a stimulus for those organizations that consider the possibility of taking a step forward and transforming a specific festival into a market promotion strategy.
Assuming this new approach is not obvious. The markets have to count on the industry's recognition and have to reach a critical mass to generate economies of scale in communication. And not only that, but more importantly, they have to develop and attract sophisticated audiences to proof the potential success of the shows in advance.

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Main institution
Regional Government of Cataluña
Cataluña, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2014
End Date


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