LIMA, Peru – The country’s growing economy was the driving force behind some of the world’s most popular singers’ holding concerts in the Andean nation in 2011.
More than 60 international stars, including teenage icon Justin Bieber, graced the stage mainly in the nation’s capital of Lima during the past year. But no singer’s concert was bigger than the one given by Sir Paul McCartney on May 9, which was one of the most attended in Lima’s history, as the former Beatle cranked out hit songs in front of a crowd of 45,838 at Monumental stadium. Link to:
The number of concerts in 2011 marked a huge increase compared to 2007, when the country hosted 12. But Congress took a major step in 2007 to make the country more attractive to international acts by passing the “Law to promote non-sporting public entertainment” (Law 29168), which eliminated municipal taxes and reduced by 50% other federal taxes levied on income from concerts.
Since then, artists like Sting, Metallica, Shakira, Iron Maiden, Peter Gabriel, Gustavo Cerati, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Slayer, the Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have serenaded fans in the Peruvian capital, a sprawling metropolis of 9 million.
The show frenzy, however, could slow down this year, a promoter said.
“What happened in 2011 was a sort of internal ‘cannibalization’ among the shows,” Jorge Ferrand, who was the behind the Paul McCartney show, said. “The offer exceeded demand and there were dates with multiple shows or shows scheduled one after another. This will result in fewer concerts for 2012, in order to generate a higher demand.”
Ticket prices, which remain high for most Peruvians, are another issue.
Manuel Díaz, 32, and his girlfriend Lucía Arana, 30, paid $43 soles (US$16) for each of their tickets to see Latin pop band Calle 13 on Dec. 3 at the San Marcos stadium, but the Aerosmith concert they went to in 2010 cost them nearly US$100 apiece for seats in the stands, far away from the stage.
Peru’s monthly minimum wage is $675 nuevos soles (US$250).
But Arana said the wave of concerts is a good sign for Peru.
“It’s great that there are so many artists and so many people come to see them – that speaks well for our economy,” said Arana, a 30-year-old a university student from the Pueblo Libre section of Lima.
Driven by the transportation, communications, trade, business and services sectors, Peru’s economy grew 7% in 2011, according to preliminary figures by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
At the same time, Peru’s nuevo sol appreciated 3.2% against the U.S. dollar, from December 2010 ($2.83 nuevos soles per US$1) to October 2011 ($2.92 nuevos soles per US$1), according to ECLAC.
“Peru’s economic growth has resulted in a 40% growth in musical concerts over the last 10 years,” Ferrand said. “But Lima is still new, particularly with respect to big shows. We’ve been doing this for three years, compared to 30 years in Buenos Aires or Mexico City.”
Despite the predicted decrease in the number of shows in this year, plenty of shows already have been booked in Lima.
On Feb. 1, Sir Elton John will take the Monumental stadium for the first show by an international star this year.
Promoter Jorge Fernández, who is bringing John to Peru, said the show, which will cost US$2.5 million to stage, is expected to draw between US$3.4 and US$4 million with an estimated attendance of 32,000.
Other artists who have confirmed shows in Lima in 2012 include Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux, (Jan. 18), British disc jockey Fatboy Slim (Jan. 26), Italian songstress Laura Pausini (Jan. 30), Disney’s teen sensation Selena Gomez (Feb. 2), Miami R&B crooner Jon Secada (Feb. 9 and 10), Spanish gothic rock icon Enrique Bunbury (March 7) and Swedish pop stars Roxette (April 21).
Retailers and composers profit
The boom in international show business has profited the Peruvian Association of Authors and Composers (APDAYC), thanks to the copyright royalties it receives from the shows’ organizers.
“In 2011, we collected $5.5 million nuevos soles (US$2.1 million), which represents a growth of approximately 60% compared to the previous year,” APDAYC president Armando Massé told the Andina News Agency.
According to the APDAYC’s figures, Bon Jovi’s concert, which grossed US$132,500, generated the most revenue in royalties in 2010, followed by Aerosmith (US$108,288) and the Black Eyed Peas (US$102,545). The numbers for 2011 haven’t been released.
Small business owners have also benefited from the show frenzy.
From hamburgers at $2.50 nuevos soles (US$0.92) to binoculars at $14 nuevos soles (US$5.19), a variety of items are on sale on the streets outside concert venues.
On concert nights, the surrounding premises become public markets where locals, including those hawking tickets on the secondary market, sell products.
Carlos Berríos, a ticket broker working outside the Calle 13 concert, bought tickets at face value and sold them at higher prices, with the goal of making a 50% profit.
“Tonight, I’m selling $43 nuevos soles (US$16) tickets for 70 (US$26) and $106 nuevos soles (US$39) tickets for $180 (US$67).
Christian Ipanaqué, 37, is an informal “parking attendant” who also works whenever there is a show at the San Marcos stadium.
“I charge $20 nuevos soles (US$7.41) and you can park here all night,” he said.
Food is also a strong seller.
Jessica Navarte, 37, and her 15-year-old son Anthony Denegri sell hamburgers from a food truck during big shows. On a good night, they’ll sell 200 burgers at $2.50 nuevos soles (US$0.93) apiece.