Bendigo Art Gallery
Bendigo Art Gallery 

The first lot of results from the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor are now available.

More than 23,000 people participated in the survey designed to track sentiment in Australian audiences and their willingness to return to arts and cultural events and help the sector plan its coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery.

View the accessible version of the Victoria Snapshot DOCX, 53.7 KB

The research suggests audiences will eventually return to arts and culture events (85%) but most aren’t ready yet. 78% plan to attend just as they did before COVID-19, while 7% are planning to attend more than before.

However, in the short-term, the pandemic will affect how soon people will attend arts and culture events along with the size and type of events people are comfortable attending.

Upon reopening venue safety measures will be critical, with 96% saying their decision to attend will be influenced by the measures put in place.

The study covers:

  • Current Demand for In-Person Arts Events
    Are they purchasing tickets for future arts events?
    Are audiences attending arts events or visiting arts spaces?
  • Future Demand for In-Person Arts Event
    When do audiences think they will return?
    Do they think they’ll attend just as frequently as they did before the pandemic?Do they think they’ll spend as much money on arts experiences?
  • Conditions Under Which Audiences Will Feel Comfortable Returning
    Will audiences return as soon as bans are lifted?
    What can organisations do to make audiences feel more comfortable?
  • Philanthropic Impact of COVID-19
    Do audiences anticipate giving to arts and culture changing after the crisis?
    Have they already given in response to the crisis?
  • Demand for and Uptake of At-Home Engagement
    How have audiences adapted to at-home participation?
    Will heightened interest in virtual content extend beyond the current health crisis?
    What are the revenue opportunities?
  • Context and Demographics
    How does arts engagement behaviour, such as frequency of attending arts events, impact audiences' attitudes?
    Has COVID-19 directly impacted the physical or financial health of audiences or their families?
    How does the age and employment status of audience members impact their attitudes towards COVID-19?

Access the results dashboard

The survey data is aggregated in a freely available dashboard, to assist artists and cultural organisations with their decision making and forward planning.

Access the dashboard by following the link below and entering the login details provided. For guidance on how to use the dashboard, visit the Australian homepage for the dashboard, where you can watch a tour or download a guide.


Password: Australia

Or alternatively access a national snapshot report here.

Victoria specific analysis will be released soon.

Future updates

There will be two more lots of results released – in July and September 2020.

When combined all three research updates will illustrate the evolving audience attitudes to arts events through the coronavirus emergency and early recovery.

Research methodology

Respondents were people who had engaged with an arts event in the last two years.

Baseline data 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 audience members who had attended a cultural event since January 2018. Read more about the methodology and the types of events that are included.

No individual respondents or organisations are identified.

Study partners

Creative Victoria is working with audience research specialists WolfBrown and Patternmakers to undertake COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor, along with industry partners including the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, and Arts Queensland.

WolfBrown is also conducting this study in Norway and U.S. cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.