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S. Korean performing arts scene sees revenue jump nearly 80 pct in 2021

Art/Culture 10:46 January 03, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- The local performing arts scene saw its revenue soar nearly 80 percent in 2021 from a year earlier, thanks to eased social distancing rules and a rising vaccination rate, data showed Monday.

The combined revenue of 12,000 theatrical plays, musicals, classical concerts and other performances reached 307.1 billion won (US$258.1 million) last year, according to the data by the Korea Performing Arts Box Office Information System (KOPIS).

The 2021 amount marked a 78.4 percent on-year surge from 172.1 billion won tallied a year earlier, when only 6,600 shows were staged.

Revenues of musicals jumped 63.5 percent on-year to 234.6 billion won last year, accounting for 76.4 percent of the entire market.

Classical concerts posted a combined 33.4 billion won in revenue, up sharply from 8.5 billion won the previous year, while theatrical plays logged a revenue of 25.3 billion won last year.

The sharp increase came as the South Korean health authorities relaxed preventive guidelines at concert halls and theaters to keep up with a rising vaccination rate in the country throughout last year.

In 2020, big-budget musicals and stage performances with foreign musicians were canceled due to a travel ban and the strict two-seat-apart rule.

In the first half of 2021, however, the crowd capacities at indoor theaters and concert halls increased to about 70 percent. The mandatory two-week self quarantine also was temporarily exempted for foreign artists who visited South Korea for stage performances in the second half before the government reversed its "living with COVID-19" scheme due to a spike in new infections.

This image provided by Seensee Company shows a scene from "Billy Elliot: The Musical." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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