Press Release  | 

The entertainment industry is committed to hybrid models with offline experiences to connect with the public

The solution to the crisis that the cultural entertainment industry has experienced in the last year is to try to single out online experiences, adding a face-to-face component that allows generating a bond with the public. This is one of the conclusions reached by the most prominent agents of the cultural scene in Barcelona, ​​who have debated the present and future of the sector in a Covid context.

Mobile Week Barcelona brought together the editorial director and co-founder of Filmin, Jaume Ripoll, at a round table on the future of the entertainment industry; the general manager of Sitges Festival, Mónica García; the person in charge of the Artistic Team at Sala Apolo, Naiara Lasa; the director of Cruïlla Barcelona, ​​Jordi Herreruela; the director of Innovation and Corporate Development of Primavera Sound, Daniel Fletcher; and the Councilor for Tourism and Creative Industries of the Barcelona City Council, Xavier Marcé.

After a year of reinvention for the entertainment industry, streaming has proven to be the key to holding massive events. However, the main drawback faced by the culture broadcast online is the difficulty of generating direct interaction with the public. For this reason, those attending the Mobile Week Barcelona round table opt for hybrid models, with the inclusion of innovative experiences that allow face-to-face assistance and guarantee the safety of the public.

The crisis that culture has experienced in this year of pandemic has enhanced the creativity that characterizes the sector, always seeking to guarantee safety and regain the trust of the authorities and, of course, the public. In the words of the director of Innovation and Corporate Development of Primavera Sound, Daniel Fletcher: “We have not stopped testing and experimenting models and experiences, we have generated a lot of learning with the sole objective of putting solutions on the table that can help not only our sector, but they can be a reference for everyone”.

After declaring the state of alarm in March 2020, the culture sector was forced to completely paralyze its activity and to reinvent new ways of reaching citizens who, more than ever during confinement, needed cultural expressions to have fun. In this sense, the director of Cruïlla Barcelona, ​​Jordi Herreruela, points out: “Due to our experience in mass events, we are the greatest experts in crowd management and access controls. When we reactivated in the summer, we showed that we were capable of doing culture and entertainment in complete safety”.

At the national level, the cultural sector lost 29% of its budgeted revenue for 2020 and a strong loss of revenue is also expected this year. Much of the workforce at ERTE and without a clear opening schedule yet is the reality that concert halls experience. Despite this, the head of the Artistic Team at Sala Apolo, Naiara Lasa, emphasizes that "this year has helped us to unite as a sector, we have analyzed our weaknesses and proposed solutions for a reality that has already become a social need for the citizens". An example of this was the clinical trial that was carried out in the Sala Apolo with almost 500 attendees and which proved to be a success without causing any contagion.

In addition to looking for solutions within the cultural scene of Barcelona, ​​they have also had to look at the international scene. The general manager of the Sitges Festival, Mónica García, comments: “We have learned from what was being done in other parts, despite the fact that the liturgy of a film festival favors certain security measures such as distance, even so, we have had to work for more than 6 months to adjust protocols so that the Festival could be carried out with a very good result”.

The situation in the sector has also been a challenge from the technological point of view, putting servers to the test with the multiplication of connections and the increase in consumption on platforms. The editorial director and co-founder of Filmin, Jaume Ripoll, points out that “the pandemic broke out when the film industry reached record numbers, but, luckily, the experience allowed us to face the situation. We have collaborated with festivals and given our help to make the events go ahead. We have managed to give an extra value to what we watch at home”.

For his part, the Councilor for Tourism and Creative Industries of the Barcelona City Council, Xavier Marcé, stressed that "culture is a very resilient industry with a great vocation that knows how to combine creativity and the economy in the best possible way". And he emphasizes: "the pandemic has shown that culture is basic, it is the food for the progress of society".

The entertainment industry will be put to the test again on March 27 when the Palau Sant Jordi hosts a concert with 5,000 spectators of Love of Lesbian. This event will be the second part of the December clinical trial at Sala Apolo, it will be supervised by a team of researchers, a new opportunity to demonstrate that culture is safe and one more step towards resuming its activity.