When the closing track played through the speakers of thousands of venues, during what would become the final pre-lock-down night, none of us knew it was gonna be the last.
Fast forward a couple months and the doors of bars, restaurants and clubs from around the world are still shut. Festivals around the world have rushed to postpone their celebrations, only to see them cancelled just some days later. Pop headliners and techno DJs are now giving away their mastery for free, through the same screen that has reinvented itself into a house party.
None of us know when, or even if, we will back to normality. So we embarked on a journey to reach out for answers. Because, after months of staying in, going out will surely not feel the same, but hopefully, it will only be better.
© 2020 Xceed
We began our investigation by asking questions to our final users, targeting our top markets and surveying all sorts of party-goers segments, pooling from our heterogenous historic database. Simultaneously, we got together with our media partners and other industry players, to help spread the survey beyond our existing reach. Once we had a clear overview on the consumer feelings over the crisis, we moved our concerns to all the events organizers, restaurant managers, bar owners and many more businesses on the other side of the market. How are they feeling about all this? What are their plans to go forward? How does the future look like for them?
All surveys were collected and analyzed in April 2020 by the Xceed Data Team. Here are the results of this extensive research. An immense thank-you to everyone who took the time to respond to this call, to our users, clients and partners, and to every person supporting the free spread of cultures and arts through events and social gatherings.
businesses & consumer interviews
What were the most important reasons for you to go out before the lock-down?
How often did you attend clubs, parties or festivals - before the lock-down?
What kind of going out events do you prefer?
Partying has always been one of our favorite forms of socializing. From north to south, east to west, we go out, driven by the desire to spend time with friends and escape our everyday life, for a few hours, for a night, sometimes for multiple days straight.
Aristotle was right. We love going out. Almost 90% of gen Z, 75% of millennials, and 50% of gen X go out at least once every month. With the Spanish gen Z being the most active group, with over 9 in 10 of them going out one or more times per month. Around half of 18-25 go out every single week and, considering the going out occurrences are clearly correlated with age, millennials are not too far behind, with this weekly partying ratio being 1 in 3.
We all enjoy all sorts of offline and social entertainment. And while our top 3 favorite activities are going to festivals, clubbing and meeting for drinks in bars, two things seems to know no geographical or age boundaries: music & friendship.
There is no doubt all businesses in the industry have been hit hard, but how do entrepreneurs and workers perceive the governments’ response? Only 11% of them are satisfied with their country response to the crisis, while most of the respondents think the actions taken against the pandemic were very poor. For some this outcome was more disappointing than the others. Only 5% of Spanish clubs and 7% of all one-off events organizers said their government response was good. Clubs and bars were the most affected regarding forced lay-offs, with the highest percentage of venues shutting down and entering bankruptcy.
The vast majority of owners believe this crisis is here to stay for long, but that they will eventually get to the pre-crisis level with the hard work and collaboration of all, however 2 in 5 of them believe it could take a year or two get back to pre-crisis levels. An encouraging hope is given by those businesses that were hit the hardest, the majority of those that were able to hold up with the lock-down believe they will get back to normality in under a year.
How was your team affected by this emergency?
How strong is the impact on your business?
How do you evaluate your country's government response to this crisis?
What are your current major worries?
When do you think your business will be able to re-open (even partially)?
While the majority of bars & restaurants’ owners believe their venues will reopen within the next 3 months, club owners and festival organizers cannot hope the same. One third of them, in fact, feels like their events won’t be allowed to open for at least six more months.
Businesses from all countries are currently most worried about the lenght of the market recession and how to retain their key employees. Also, the new safety requirements that governments are about to enforce will add a new set of operational challenges to venues. While most think this will result in manual counting at the door to keep track of the capacity restriction, a significant and growing number of venues plans to move to online pre-registrations of different time-slots for their customers.
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Castiglione Della Pescaia
Sottomarina di Chioggia
Business & Organizers