Doom, gloom, and a boom? COVID-19’s uneven impact on the arts and cultural sector in Norway

Rockefeller in Oslo. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB

The Cultural Council’s annual “Art in numbers” report, for 2020, highlighted the uneven economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts.

33% drop in revenues for the music industry, 53% for performing arts

The effects of various lockdowns, restrictions, and infection control measures were evident in the annual report conducted by the Cultural Council. Both the music industry and the performing arts saw COVID-19 ravage revenues in 2020. Compared to the year before, the music industry saw a 33% decline in revenue whilst it was a staggering 53% drop for the performing arts.

Kristin Danielsen, director of the Cultural Council, noted that the report gave a good overview of the financial predicament that the arts and cultural sector are in since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She told NTB that “…the situation is serious, but still expected. The report gives us a good picture of the consequences of the pandemic’s first year and will be an important starting point when we in the future propose instruments and measures that can assist the sector to become more viable and more diverse than ever.”

Literature and visual arts boomed in 2020

Surprisingly though there was some good news for the annual report. Revenues for literature and the visual arts both increased in 2020. Total sales for literature were up 5% to NOK 6.3 billion in 2020 whilst there was a staggering 48% rise in revenues for the visual arts to NOK 2.8 billion. Due to the country being in various forms of lockdown for most of 2020, never was there a better time to read a book or stream a film.

The total income of all four industries, for 2020, was down almost 10% to NOK 13.3 billion.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayTravel

Do you have a news tip for Norway Today? We want to hear it. Get in touch at


Be the first to comment on "Doom, gloom, and a boom? COVID-19’s uneven impact on the arts and cultural sector in Norway"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.