War-Rak/Banksia Festival for La Mama's Reopening. Darren Gill

What is the Audience Outlook Monitor?

Creative Victoria is part of a global study to track audience sentiment in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Audience Outlook Monitor research is being conducted in stages to understand how audiences feel about engaging with, and returning to, creative events and venues.

This data can be used by artists and creative organisations to support their audience engagement activities and plans for returning to business and recovery.

Respondents to the study are previous attendees of arts and culture organisations.

The full results are available to explore in the freely accessible dashboard.

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Key Findings – October 2022

  • Financial reasons are now the top barrier to attendance, surpassing the risk of virus transmission for the first time since the pandemic began. This suggests that price sensitivity may increase as financial barriers are now affecting 40% of audiences, up from 24% in August 2022.
  • Audiences are feeling positive about attending events. 3 in 4 (75%) attended a cultural event in the fortnight before data collection consistent with findings in August 2022.
  • Attendance frequency is yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Overall, 44% of performing arts attendees are attending less often than they used to, signalling that recovery will take time. However, there is cause for optimism with 51% signalling that their attendance will increase over the next year.
  • Spending levels are not increasing – the proportion (63%) spending over $50 on arts and culture in the past fortnight has remained consistent with levels seen in March and August 2022.
  • Last minute ticket buying persists with data revealing that most audience members book events in the next seven days (26%) and next 2-3 weeks (43%).
  • Audiences generally agree that they are keen to attend things that they attended in the past (84%) however, a sizeable proportion (58%) of audiences agree that they would like to try things they have not experienced before. The appeal of trying new things is particularly strong in those under 35 years of age (74%).
  • 11% of all audiences have said that an option for digital participation would be “helpful for attending cultural events”. This highlights the need to consider digital access as an important part of the planning mix.

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About the Audience Outlook Monitor

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.

Research methodology

Baseline data was collected in a cross-sector survey involving over 150 arts and culture organisations including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals across Australia. To date, 120 organisations are still participating in the research.

In each tranche of research, participating organisations have simultaneously distributed a survey to a random sample of their audience who had attended an arts or cultural event in the two years prior to the pandemic.

No individual respondents or organisations are identified.

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 the Guide to using the Dashboard.

User: access@AOM.com.au

Password: Australia

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