Jazz festival ticket sales should be around $4 million: organizers

“This was our revenge for COVID. In the end, it’s the music that wins.”

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The organizers of the Montreal International Jazz Festival expressed their satisfaction and relief for the 42 days of the 10-day event.North Dakota edition: his return after an absence of three years.

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Ticket sales for Montreal’s biggest musical extravaganza should range between $3.5 million and $4 million, L’Equipe Spectra vice president Laurent Saulnier said on Saturday, citing preliminary figures.

While that’s down from 2019, the last pre-pandemic edition, organizers point out that revenue would have been higher had it not been for the decision to hold free shows at Le Studio TD, the Ste-Catherine St. West club. formerly known as L’Astral. .

“Things went extremely well,” Saulnier said at the festival’s traditional closing press conference. “Generally speaking, we are within the range that we were heading for. We don’t have the final numbers for sales on the site yet, and we know tonight (Saturday night) will likely play a significant role in sales on the site.”

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As in every edition, memorable moments abounded. Saulnier cited two outdoor concerts by Montreal bands, Clay and Friends and Bran Van 3000, among his personal highlights. Maurin Auxéméry, who is preparing to take over from Saulnier on Sept. 15, said his favorites include the three concerts by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, which drew nearly 8,000 people; Woodkid’s two-night adventure at MTelus and Kamasi Washington’s “exceptional” performance on the main stage on July 2.

“This is the best element to show how vibrant the jazz scene is today,” Auxéméry said.

Organizers overcame a number of logistical challenges to put on the event, including several COVID-19-induced defections among staff in the days leading up to the festival, Saulnier said.

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Spectra’s Francophone music festival, les Francos de Montréal, also felt the full force of the virus last month, prompting Saulnier to jokingly call it “les Francovid.”

“It was not an easy year by any stretch of the imagination,” Saulnier said. “There was a lot of hard work by the teams. The image of the duck comes to mind, calm on the surface, but paddling furiously underwater.

Though organizers initially thought health concerns might dampen ticket sales, concertgoers from Montreal and far afield responded in great numbers.

“We had some fears at one point, but people were showing up en masse in concert halls, whether it was for seated or standing shows,” Saulnier said. “We are extremely happy about this.”

Saulnier also highlighted the large crowds that attended the free outdoor concerts, both on the main stage at the Place des Festivals and at the nearby Rogers stage.

After 23 years with Spectra, the 2022 edition of the festival is Saulnier’s last as lead programmer. As the press conference drew to a close, Auxéméry presented him with an all-access pass for life in recognition of his service.

“This was our revenge for COVID,” said Auxéméry, director of reservations for Spectra festivals, summing up the 2022 edition. “In the end, it’s the music that wins.”

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