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.