COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor
May 18, 2020
COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor webinars
Findings from Phase 2 were discussed in a webinar held on Wednesday 29 July. The Phase 1 webinar series explored different topics within the Audience Outlook Monitor by digging deeper into the results with industry experts.
The Australia Council is working with Patternmakers and WolfBrown to understand changes in behaviours and sentiments of arts-goers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to support decision-making and forward planning across the sector.
Restrictions on public gatherings and travel have forced many in the arts community to shut their doors and cancel programs and activities. This tracking study is designed to support important decision-making in the coming months about when to open again and resume programming in spaces where people physically gather.
The Audience Outlook Monitor provides artists, cultural organisations and the broader arts sector with valuable information as changes occur.
Results from the second phase of the study are now available, with the key insights outlined in the July Snapshot Report. The final data collection phase is planned for September 2020.
All data is available in the Audience Outlook Monitor dashboard, with results from over 23,000 respondents in Phase 1 and over 15,000 respondents in Phase 2.
Key findings from the second phase include:
- Audiences are increasingly ready to return to attend cultural events in most locations as soon as permitted (28%, up from 22% in May).
- One in four past attendees have started returning to cultural events (24%) with museums and galleries (12%) and cinemas (9%) the most common venues.
- Audiences are increasingly comfortable to attend performance venues of all sizes, assuming they were open, following safety procedures and observing social distancing guidelines.
- One in ten people had bought a ticket for live show or performance, with lead times becoming shorter as most ticketholders buying tickets less than one month out.
- Four in ten people would prefer a digital program rather than attending in person right now (39%).
- Some audiences are feeling more pessimistic about returning to events long-term, with almost a quarter saying their future attendance will be negatively affected (22%, up from 15% in May).
- Most people expect to spend the same on arts and culture events as they did before (72%), but one in five expect to spend less (15%).
- Audiences remain engaged with creative activities at home like listening to music (89%) and reading for pleasure (86%). Three in four are participating in online cultural experiences (73%) consistent with findings in May.
- Slightly more people are paying for online experiences (36%, up from 34% in May), and they are spending more with almost two in five having spent more than $50 in the past fortnight.
About the study
The Audience Outlook Monitor captures ‘active’ arts audiences – those who are on the contact database of at least one of the 159 participating organisations and have attended a cultural event since January 2018 – rather than the general population. The results will be most relevant for activities that rely on people being in public spaces, similar to those of the 159 participating museums, galleries, festivals and organisations.
Baseline data for this tracking study was collected in a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving 159 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals. These organisations simultaneously sent a survey to a random sample of their audiences, who had attended a cultural event since January 2018.
The responses span a diverse range of event types and encompass people who attend all types of events. The large sample provides detailed insights about different art forms, types of events, demographic groups and parts of Australia.
Read more about the methodology and the types of events which are included.
Karina Utomo performs in the 2019 Perth Festival production of Cat Hope’s Speechless, produced by Tura New Music. Credit: Toni Wilkinson
List of participating organisations
|Adelaide Festival Centre|
|Adelaide Film Festival|
|Adelaide Symphony Orchestra|
|Art Gallery of Ballarat|
|Art Gallery of New South Wales|
|Art on The Move|
|Art, Not Apart|
|Arts Centre Melbourne|
|Arts Margaret River Inc|
|Australian Brandenburg Orchestra|
|Australian Centre for Contemporary Art|
|Australian Dance Theatre|
|Australian Festival of Chamber Music|
|Australian Theatre for Young People|
|Barking Gecko Theatre|
|Bathurst Regional Council T/A Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre|
|Belconnen Arts Centre|
|Bendigo Venues & Events|
|Biennale of Sydney|
|Black Swan State Theatre Company|
|Brisbane Multicultural Art Centre (BEMAC)|
|Brisbane Writers Festival|
|Brown’s Mart Arts Ltd|
|Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre|
|Bundaberg Regional Council|
|Bunjil Place (City of Casey)|
|Cairns Indigenous Art Fair|
|Campbelltown Arts Centre|
|Canberra Youth Theatre|
|Centre for Contemporary Photography|
|Chamber of Arts and Culture WA|
|Circa Contemporary Circus|
|Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre|
|Country Arts SA|
|Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation Ltd|
|Darwin Entertainment Centre|
|Design Centre Tasmania|
|Electronic Music Conference (EMC)|
|Empire Theatres Pty Ltd|
|Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne|
|Feast Queer Arts and Cultural Festival|
|Footscray Community Arts Centre|
|Forge Theatre and Arts Hub|
|FORM building a state of creativity|
|Frankston Arts Centre|
|Fremantle Press Inc|
|Geelong Arts Centre|
|Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre|
|Goldfields Arts Centre|
|Hayes Theatre Co|
|History Trust of South Australia|
|HOTA, Home of the Arts|
|Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne|
|Information + Cultural Exchange|
|Ipswich Civic Centre|
|La Boite Theatre Company|
|Lighthouse Theatre Warrnambool|
|Linden New Art Inc|
|Lismore Regional Gallery|
|Logan Entertainment Centre – Logan City Council|
|Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre|
|Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|Melbourne International Jazz Festival|
|Melbourne Recital Centre|
|Melbourne Symphony Orchestra|
|Melbourne Theatre Company|
|Merrigong Theatre Company|
|Mildura Arts Centre|
|Multicultural Arts Victoria|
|National Gallery of Australia|
|National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)|
|National Museum of Australia|
|National Portrait Gallery|
|No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability|
|Orange Civic Theatre|
|Penrith Performing & Visual Arts|
|Perth Theatre Trust|
|Perth Theatre Trust – Albany Entertainment Centre|
|Platform Youth Arts|
|Propel Youth Arts WA|
|Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art|
|Queensland Museum Network|
|Queensland Music Festival|
|Queensland Performing Arts Centre|
|Queensland Symphony Orchestra|
|Real Film Festival|
|Red Chair Pty Ltd|
|Royal Historical Society of Victoria|
|SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival|
|South Australian Museum|
|Spare Parts Puppet Theatre|
|State Library of Queensland|
|State Library Victoria|
|State Opera South Australia|
|State Theatre Company South Australia|
|SWELL Sculpture Festival|
|Sydney Dance Company|
|Sydney Opera House|
|Sydney Philharmonia Choirs|
|Sydney Theatre Company|
|Sydney Writers’ Festival Ltd|
|Synergy & Taikoz Ltd|
|The Australian Ballet|
|The Cube Wodonga|
|The Events Centre, Caloundra|
|The Sydney Fringe Inc|
|The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra|
|The Wheeler Centre|
|Theatre North Inc|
|Townsville City Council|
|Townsville City Council Galleries|
|Tura New Music|
|Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts|
|Victorian Music Development Office|
|Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre|
|West Australian Ballet|
|West Australian Opera|
|West Australian Symphony Orchestra|
|Western Australian Museum|
|Womadelaide foundation Ltd|
|Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company|