Elbphilharmonie draws 4 million visitors in a year

Hamburg’s concert hall is a hit. The numbers don’t lie.

Since November 4, 2016 the hall has averaged 11,000 daily visitors, it was announced today.


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  • You didn’t say much, and not all of it is accurate.
    The announcement says “täglich bis zu 17 000 Gäste”, which means that 17,000 is the maximum daily number, not the average.
    The total number of visitors is 4 million. The hall has been open for 51 weeks, which means that the daily average is around 11,000.
    Also interesting is the following breakdown. Out of the 4 million:
    – 660,000 attended a concert
    – 62,000 participated in a guided tour
    – the rest just popped in to have a look

    • “Popped in to have a look” – is what we did on our visit in August, before sitting outside to watch the concert being live-streamed on a big screen.There were lots of other people who “popped in to have a look” – and that’s free, by the way, so it doesn’t help with covering the costs.

  • What some people, especially those who have been railing against the idea of a new concert-hall in London, fail to appreciate is that there is always a positive knock-on effect for the local economy. Build anything of architectural (that’s the key word!) interest and tourists will come flocking from far and wide. They have to be put up in hotels, they need to eat and drink, they make use of public transport, they find other attractions to while away the time…. Building a new landmark in Hamburg made perfect commercial sense, as it has done in Paris and elsewhere too. Naysayers, doom-mongers and sourpusses, please note.

    • What you say is very true for secondary cities, where such a boost can make a significant difference.
      But London is already the no.2 most visited city in the world, with around 20 million visitors per annum.
      How noticeable will the impact of a concert hall be in that context?

      • “But London is already the no.2 most visited city in the world, with around 20 million visitors per annum.”

        That is true, but it hasn’t always occupied that position. There’s no room for complacency. At the V&A only yesterday – very impressed with the presentation, the catering and the helpfulness of the staff. On the other hand, the Queen Elizabeth Hall’s riverside exterior looks like a container port.

    • It’s true – indeed maybe except mega cities who have already a plethora of monuments and tourist attractions – but the point is: why building a concert hall that creates an enrivonment like a mars settlement, for something like Western classical music? Performing exclusively sonic art would be a much better idea in such structures, but then audiences would be remarkably miniature, and however much they would stuff themselves before and after, it would not add much to the economy.

  • We were there during the last two weeks of July with no concerts scheduled. Sadly, no tours of the concert hall were offered. However, we did stay at the lovely Westin Hotel within the building, affording us unlimited access to the 8th-floor promenade that tourists had to line up to pay for.

    • If by the 8th floor promenade you mean the Plaza where the hotel entrance is, and the shop, it was free when we and everybody else went in!

      • Yes, it is still free.
        I assume NYMike is referring to the Plaza-Ticket-Machines. While the tickets are free (unless you pre-book; there is a service charge then) and only for the purpose of enforcing the Plaza’s capacity-limit, the queues, depending on the number of visitors, can be extremely long and the wait extensive. Hotel guests are granted access without the need to draw tickets first.

        • Correct, and with a separate entrance immediately to the left of the kiosks affording elevator service to the 8th-floor lobby.

  • The number don’t lie but the question is whether they are sustainable, when the curiosity about the new kickass venue fades.

      • You are making me curious. When I visited Sydney in 1996 I wasn’t impressed by its interior spaces. I know it has since undergone a renovation. The exterior of Sydney Opera House is as iconic as it gets, but does that translate into selling lots of seats to tourists? I am not a naysayer on this matter: this is a question.

        • Tourists do go to concerts there, but mainly they walk around and photograph the place. You are right; the inside of the SOH isn’t nice at all. Dull concrete space which is rather arid. The only thing which saves it is, of course, the exterior and UNBELIEVABLE harbour views – especially magical at night. But outside bars and rock music line the harbour from the OH right back to the Circular Quay station and, let me tell you, it’s sleazy!!

          I never go there for concerts because I’m bored with what they offer these days. Having been to lots of concerts in Vienna and Europe I’ve been treated to the very best, and often!!:-)

          • The building consistently sells tickets, and what they are actually selling is of secondary importance. That includes for example, fake orchestras.

  • Not the hall. The building.
    The building has a visitor terrace and restaurants and a hotel and more.
    Elbphilharmonie, the hall, is only one part of the whole building.
    Also the concert promoters report, that the interest is kind of ridiculous.
    Like there have been concerts with modern music, filled with bus loads of pensioners from the provinces. Because they wanted to see the hall. Bizarre.
    Basically in this phase, the first few years, they could have only John Cage’s 4’33” on every night, and the hall would still be full.

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