A dearth of world-class venues in Nigeria is limiting promoters’ push for big concerts, BusinessDay has learnt.
Despite the large number of concertgoers in the country, especially during the festive season, and the rise of Afrobeat, investors remain hesitant to invest in large-capacity concert centres.
Detty December 2022 and other concerts saw a surge in attendance, but a lack of adequate investment in proper concert facilities resulted in promoters investing significant sums of money in building temporary sets from scratch, repurposing hangars or empty patches of land.
In some other countries with properly built concert centres, artists, including some Afrobeat artists, headline shows not just during the festive season.
According to a research by British Council, concerts and music tours have become a major source of income for Nigerian artists since the rise of music streaming services.
It said music festivals and concerts account for approximately 15 percent of the Nigerian festival scene and, as such, add value to the Nigerian economy when properly utilised.
The research went further to state that these concerts can also provide multiple revenue streams such as ticket sales, concessions, and sponsorships.
A recent report by WorldRemit said most Nigerians spent 196 percent of their monthly income during Christmas and some of those revenue go into music concerts as it has become sort of a tradition for some music fans at the end of the year to unwind and spend time with their favourite music artists who would be hosting live events or performing at sponsored shows.
Some of the large-scale festivals that were held last year were Flytime, Livespot X, and Wonderland X.
According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (2020-2024), Nigeria’s media and entertainment industry is one of the fastest-growing creative industries in the world. It has the capability to become the country’s greatest export, with a projected annual growth rate of 8.6 percent and a compound annual growth rate of 19.3 percent from 2018-2023.
“Most Nigerian artists take pride in touring different countries and headlining shows in countries like England and the United States, but they forget about their home country because these artists cannot hold a proper music concert due to the complexities of their sound and lack of proper stage setup,” said Oyinda Olukanni, a music executive and founder of Party Monkz Entertainment.
He said there is a lot of investment needed, which event promoters and artists cannot make without the government encouraging investment to also aid the growth of the creative industry and revenue to the country.
The music industry has been a key driver of the growth of the entertainment industry. Nigerian artists have seen increasing international recognition; for instance, Tems, bagged a Golden Globes nomination for her collaboration with Rihanna and other prominent producers on the 2022 track ‘Lift me up’, a song off Marvel Studios’ Black Panther Soundtrack.
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Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Tems, Asake, and Wizkid were named Spotify’s most-streamed artists in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.
According to Maurice Chapot, Circuit’s founder and creative strategist, building temporary concert venues only during show times is a short-term solution.
“Unfortunately, investors both locally and internationally are yet to see this as a cash cow. Event promoters and artists should shift the focus from immediate profit to long-term gains. Make it about the collective, the ecosystem, before the individuals,” he said.
He said there should be leverage on mutual trust, partnerships, and collaborations, instead of pursuing individual, sometimes counterproductive strategies.