Inaugurated just three years ago, Romes Auditorium Parco della Musica recently published its balance sheet for 2004. The venue managed to generate pre-tax profits of 300,000 and self-finance covered 50 per cent of its operating costs compared with only 42 per cent in 2003. A substantial rise in the number of concerts and events helps to explain the change as more shows translate into increased ticket sales: 780,000 marking a 14 per cent increase on 2003.

In 2002 many commentators expressed their fears that the Auditorium would damage trade at the citys many other small theatres and concert halls. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as audience numbers city-wide surged by 28 per cent between 2003 and 2004, proving that for the arts scene at least, more supply can mean more demand.