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

The Seoul Philharmomic Orchestra's poster for the first season of 2022. (SPO)
The Seoul Philharmomic Orchestra's poster for the first season of 2022. (SPO)
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 ($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. (Yonhap)
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