Pori Squeezed By Competition

Although the festival will still show a handsome profit, increased competition in the Nordic market means Finland’s Pori Jazz is unlikely to be banking as much as the million euros that it made last year.

"It will be less than a half-million euros but a lot more than zero," festival programmer Jyrke Kangas told Pollstar shortly after the July 14-22 event had been wrapped.

"We know we did over 8,000 more tickets than it should take to break even but we haven’t got full details of the outgoings and so the actual profit is impossible to judge at the moment."

Pori Jazz managing director Katja Leppäkoski says the gross ticket sales were 58,000, which is way down – as was the entertainment bill – from the 75,000 it did last year when Sting and Kanye West pulled 36,000 and 18,000 respectively in the main Kirjurinluoto Arena.

The biggest show this year was Paul Anka, Gilberto Gil, Natalie Cole and Al Foster, a bill that put 15,000 in the same venue.

Kangas, who says it was also the best show of the festival, echoed other Scandinavian outdoor promoters including Juha Koivisto from Finland’s Provinssirock festival and Rune Lem from Live Nation’s Gunnar Eide in Oslo in saying that the numbers of large acts visiting the region and small festivals springing up everywhere is squeezing the market.

"We have The Rolling Stones coming here now and the summer has been full of big outdoor shows. It’s as if the public are expected to buy another million tickets this year," Kangas explained.

This year’s nine-day Pori Jazz bill also included The Roots, Sly and The Family Stone, Elvis Costello with the Allen Toussaint Band, Steely Dan, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Ziggy Marley, The Original Blues Brothers Band, The Brand New Heavies and Us3.