The Struggle In Greece Continues

Local concert promoters say the beautiful country of Greece is being bled dry by politicians and taxes, which leaves the public with little money to spend on concert tickets.  

Ejekt Festival Greece 2017
– Ejekt Festival Greece 2017
Killers fans at the Greek festival have a message for the band during the fest.

Giannis Paltoglou, owner of

The country has become very attractive for tourists avoiding Turkey, usually a popular holiday destination. The recent terrorist attacks as well as the general political climate in the neighboring country are off-putting to the average sightseer.

Tourists cannot replace local ticket buyers, toward whom a lot of Greece’s events are tailored. Paltoglou estimates that the live entertainment sector in general might have lost up to 25 percent of its customers year-on-year in terms of ticket sales.

“International concerts in particular, where the ticket price usually lies above euro 20 to euro 25, aren’t doing well,” Paltoglou said. “Depeche Mode, for example, sold 7,500 tickets for a venue that holds 20,000.”

Even though the promoter was able to secure The Killers to play its first ever Greece gig on the first day of Ejekt and reduced the ticket price, only 10,000 people came, 2,000 of which journeyed from abroad.

In 2016, the first day of Ejekt – the festival is spread out over two days with several weeks in between – attracted 12,000 people. The second day, which was headlined by Muse, saw 20,000 attend.

Paltoglou is not the exception, all of the country’s promoters have lost money, especially since May when the VAT rate was raised to 24 percent.

“I don’t think anybody made money from festivals or concerts this summer,” he said. The only option promoters seem to have is to take “smaller steps.” Raising ticket prices isn’t possible in the current climate. What doesn’t help either is that “other countries have bigger markets, so artists will choose to tour there.”

Paltoglou doesn’t harbor any illusions about a new government changing things for the better, as the country has long ceased to be ruled by its public.

“The IMF, Germany and the European Union, they are the real government,” he said.

When Ejekt festival’s main sponsor held a ticket lottery for the 2017 edition, putting up 40 double-tickets on Facebook, 18,000 people took part in the competition, demonstrating that many would love to attend.

Paltoglou still has day 2 of Ejekt festival coming up on July 14, Desertfest Athens Oct. 6, and  Nov 16. Sales, again, are going “slowly.”

“The only thing that really works at the moment are the many shows with DJs all over the islands, which, again, are for tourists. We’ll be making that offering better and better each summer.”

The one demand he has for politicians is: “Less taxes. Reduce the VAT to 11 percent,” which is where it once was, before the financial crisis hit Europe and austerity measures became an accepted tool for Europe’s financial gurus.