‘The Audience Has Shown A Great Desire To Come Back’: Q’s With Clipper’s Music Group’s Juli Guiu Marquina

Juli Guiu Marquina
Juli Guiu Marquina, president of Clipper’s Music Group.

Clipper’s Music Group is a leading independent music company in Spain. Founded in 1952 in Barcelona, the third-generation family business is chaired by Juli Guiu Marquina. The group deals in publishing, management, label services and live.

Over the last 10 years, Clipper’s has held unique concerts by prominent national and international artists at its different festivals, including Cap Roig Festival, Suite Festival, Room Festival, and Caixabank Polo Music Festival. Some of the biggest names are Bob Dylan, Elton John, Diana Krall, Sting, Van Morrison, Liam Gallagher, Pet Shop Boys, Enrique Iglesias, Luis Miguel, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Santana, Joan Baez, The Original Alan Parsons Project Band, Ben Harper, Wilco, Natalie Imbruglia, Travis, Mando Diao, The Bangles, Maluma, Jason Derulo, Bryan Adams, Alejandro Sanz, David Bisbal, or Antonio Orozco.

Pollstar spoke to Marquina about the state of business in Spain in general, and at Clipper’s Music Group in particular.

Pollstar: Is business back to normal in Spain? Meaning: can you promote without restrictions and to full capacity again?
Juli Guiu Marquina: At this moment, the national authorities are allowing us to develop cultural activities including concert venues with full capacity again and with no restrictions at all, except for a couple of regions where we still need to wear the mask during concerts. We really hope that the situation keeps improving and we can continue doing our job and providing the best quality concerts for our public.

What were the most important factors for surviving these past two years? Did you manage to sell tickets during the pandemic?
Some of the most important factors during the pandemic have been effort, determination, and the ability to constantly adapt. During these past two years, we were able to keep offering high-quality shows in smaller scales or in acoustic formats, keeping the safety distance, and following all the necessary measures to make them completely safe for the audience at that time.

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Antonio Orozco performs on stage during Clipper’s Music Group’s own Cap Roig Festival at Jardins de Cap Roig in Palafrugell, Spain, Aug. 2, 2021. Clipper’s also promotes Orzoco’s tour this year. (Photo by Jordi Vidal/Redferns)

In 2021, for example, Clipper’s Music Group held the 21st edition of Cap Roig Festival with a total of 19 sold-out concerts and an audience of more than 36,000 persons. Also in 2021, we started Antonio Orozco’s “Aviónica Tour” with an overwhelming success: a total of 53 concerts were held, 50 of which were sold out, attracting more than 80,000 spectators [in total].

What can you say about Spain’s overall live infrastructure, the number of promoters, agents, suppliers, and know-how present, as well as small to medium-sized venues for newcomer acts, and big buildings for the superstars?
Spain is a country with state-in-the-art infrastructure for all type of audiences, artists and shows. Today we have plenty of options to hold all kinds of musical events in venues which offer all the requirements to fit any possible need, whether that’s small to medium-sized venues, or big venues for superstars’ shows.

Nevertheless, the number of promoters is high and increasing, and the demand for these venues is very high. Therefore, there is sometimes a lack of capacities during certain times of the year. Especially for 2022, the huge increase in the musical offers is causing tensions in the different areas of supply: venues, infrastructure, suppliers, etc.

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Sebastián Yatra at Suite Festival 2021 in the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, promoted by Clipper’s Music Group. Fans in Spain have more events to choose from than even before. It creates opportunities, as well as challenges.

Are there vast differences from territory to territory? Do Madrid and Barcelona stick out? What other territories have a huge live crowd people may not be aware of yet? Which region is developing fast as we speak?
Madrid and Barcelona have historically been the places with the widest cultural and musical offer in Spain, but this is changing and extending quickly to other areas outside the main cities. For example, Clipper’s Music Group is now developing two new festivals for the summer in the outskirts of Barcelona, in places such as Cambrils or La Cerdanya, and continues to run Cap Roig Festival in the Costa Brava. These are all places where people may go on vacation or have a second home, so the audience can be wider and more varied, including not only local but also international public. Actually, all the summer locations are continuously adding new offers to their cultural events, and more festivals are being created in these areas during the summer.

Can you talk about ticket sales in Spain? Are they picking back up, after two years of tough business conditions? Is the audience ready to get back to concerts/shows? Are there differences between demographics?
The audience response throughout 2021 and 2022 has been impressive. As I said before, we finished last year with a great success in ticket sales: 50/53 concerts sold out in Antonio Orozco’s “Aviónica Tour” and 19/21 at Cap Roig.

After the pandemic, the audience has shown a great desire to go back to concert halls and music festivals, to keep buying tickets to see their favorite artists and continue enjoying live music, and I do not see differences between demographics in terms of willingness of getting back.

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Spanish singer Luis Cepeda performs at Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain, May 27, 2022. His tour is promoted by Clipper’s Music Group. (Photo by Manuel Medir/Redferns)

What upcoming concerts/tours promoted by Clipper’s Music Group would you like to highlight?
Clipper’s Music Group is promoting several music festivals for 2022. Cap Roig Festival, located in the heart of Costa Brava, will take place July 22-Aug. 15, and will host top-level artists such as Christina Aguilera, Sting, Mika or Camilo, among others. In the area of Tarragona, the Cambrils International Music Festival (FIMC) will offer 10 concerts, July 29-Aug. 7, with international and national artists like Ara Malikian, Nathy Peluso, Rels B or God Save the Queen.

Also, the first edition of Summerfest Cerdanya will take place from Aug. 13-27 in the region of the eastern Pyrennes, hosting 8 concerts, including Antonio Orozco, Nil Moliner, Lola Índigo, Taburete, and others, as well as many other activities.

Apart from the festivals, Clipper’s Music Group also promotes its own artists’ tours, such as Antonio Orozco’s “Aviónica Tour,” which will continue visiting the main cities of Spain and some concert halls in Europe this year, Cepeda’s “Sempiterno Tour,” and Kiki Morente’s “El Cante Tour” through Spain.

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