LPA Supplementary Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2013

Photo: Pinocchio - Windmill Theatre, Tony Lewis

Overall Category Highlights Click for more info

Compared to the data previously reported in the Primary 2013 Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey, there is a more even spread of revenue and attendance across categories as the supplementary data does not include major concert tours and musical productions in capital cities. Consistent with the 2013 Primary Survey data, Classical Music, Contemporary Music and Theatre all appear in the top 5 categories in the industry for both revenue and attendance. However, there are some differences.

In particular, Theatre’s share of attendance and revenue in the supplementary data is significantly higher compared to the Primary Survey data, with Theatre accounting for 24.3% of total attendance, mainly due to attendances at regional and metropolitan venues.

This is markedly different to the attendance results reported in the Primary Survey, where Theatre accounted for 10.3% of total attendances. Classical Music and Contemporary Music ranked higher on revenue than on attendance due to the high average ticket prices in these categories.

On the other hand, Children’s/Family and Ballet and Dance events ranked in the top five on attendances, but a low average ticket price meant these categories dropped out of the top five on revenue.

Photo: When Time Stops - Expression Dance Company, Dylan Evans

Top 5 Categories - Revenue and Attendance

Close Table
Revenue Attendance
Category Revenue Share of industry Category Tickets Share of industry
1 Contemporary Music $5,676,178 27.7% 1 Theatre 195,125 26.5%
2 Theatre $4,972,505 24.3% 2 Contemporary Music 150,063 20.4%
3 Classical Music $2,085,248 10.2% 3 Children's/Family 101,868 13.8%
4 Comedy $1,640,244 8% 4 Classical Music 72,647 9.9%
5 Festivals (Single Category) $1,537,264 7.5% 5 Ballet and Dance 53,301 7.2%

Photo: 247 Days - Chunky Move, Jeff Busby

Supplementary performances by category

Close Table
Category Number of performances Share of industry Average revenue per performance Average attendance per performance
 Ballet and Dance 309 6.1% $4,010  172
 Children’s/Family 544 10.7% $2,378  187
 Circus and Physical Theatre 82 1.6% $5,434  241
 Classical Music 200 3.9% $10,426  363
 Comedy 121 2.4% $13,556  367
 Contemporary Music 387 7.6% $14,667  388
 Festival (Multi Category) 27 0.5% $2,586  100
 Festival (Single Category) 703 13.8% $2,187  55
 Musical Theatre 98 1.9% $10,051  400
 Opera 31 0.6% $12,392  365
 Special Events 133 2.6% $1,301  60
 Theatre 2,465 48.3% $2,017  79
Total 5,100 100% $4,020  144

Individual Category Results

Ballet and Dance

There were 309 performances in the Ballet and Dance category in 2013, which drew attendance of 53,301 and generated revenue of $1.24 million. The Ballet and Dance category’s share of attendance is slightly higher than its share of revenue, which may be attributed to a ticket price ($28.15) and is lower than the average across all categories ($33.65).

The average attendance per performance was 172, above the industry average of 144. However, a lower than industry average ticket price, results in the average revenue per performance ($4,010) being similar to the industry average ($4,020).

In terms of revenue, the largest regional and metropolitan venues included Empire Theatre, Frankston Arts Centre and Theatre Royal (Hobart). Australia Council Key Organisations generated 35% of revenue for this category, with notable organisations being Expressions Dance Company and Chunky Move. Other Key Organisations that presented a high number of performances in this category included Tasdance, The Blue Room and Dancehouse.

Photo: Cinderella - The Australian Ballet, Jeff Busby

Children's/Family

The Children’s/Family category drew attendance of 101,868 and generated revenue of $1.29 million. Its share of industry revenue (6.3%) is very low given its share of industry attendance (13.8%), due to its low average ticket price ($15.95) and a high proportion of unpaid tickets (20.4% compared to the industry average of 17.8%).

There were 544 performances in the Children’s/Family category. Average attendance at each performance was 187, generating average revenue of $2,378.

In terms of revenue, the largest regional and metropolitan venues included Frankston Arts Centre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre. Key Organisations in South Australia also made a notable contribution to this category, with performances by Windmill Theatre and Patch Theatre Company.

Photo: Pinocchio - Windmill Theatre, Tony Lewis

Circus and Physical Theatre

The Circus and Physical Theatre category drew attendance of 19,750 and generated revenue of $445,557. Overall, this category has a 2.2% share of industry revenue and a 2.7% share of industry attendance, making it one of the smaller categories in this survey.

This category staged 82 performances, with average attendance of 241 per performance and average revenue of $5,434 per performance.

Regional and metropolitan venues generated most of the attendance and revenue in this category. Riverside Theatre was the key contributor, followed by Theatre Royal (Hobart).

Photo: Whelping Box - Intimate Spectacle and Performing Lines, presented by Performance Space and Arts House, Heidrun Lohr

Classical Music

The Classical Music category attracted 72,647 attendances and generated $2.09 million in revenue which is quite sizeable given its high proportion of unpaid tickets (22.1%). This was achieved through a high average ticket price ($36.86) which compensated for the high number of unpaid tickets.

The Classical Music category staged 200 performances. With average attendance of 363 per performance and average revenue of $10,426 per performance, it is one of the higher yielding categories.

Three Australia Council Key Organisations, namely Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Darwin Symphony Orchestra and The Song Company staged very successful performances and contributed a substantial amount of revenue for this category. Other Key Organisations producing Classical Music include the Australian String Quartet and Gondwana Choirs.

Photo: Symphony in the City - WA Symphony Orchestra, Emma Van Dordrecht

Comedy

The Comedy category drew attendance of 44,377 and generated $1.64 million in revenue. This category is ranked fourth in terms of industry revenue, due to a high average ticket price ($39.22) and few unpaid tickets (5.8% of total attendance).

This category staged 121 performances, which generated average revenue of $13,556 per performance due to high attendance rates of 367 per performance, making it one of the top performing categories.

Regional and metropolitan venues generated the vast majority of revenue and attendance for this category. Notable venues include Empire Theatre (Toowoomba), Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Theatre Royal (Hobart), Frankston Arts Centre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre.

Photo: The Gala - Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Jim Lee

Contemporary Music

The Contemporary Music category drew attendance of 150,063 and generated revenue of $5.68 million. This made it the biggest category of the supplementary data in terms of revenue, and the second most popular category in terms of attendance (after the Theatre category). Average ticket prices in this category ($41.58) are also substantially higher than the industry average ($33.99).

Contemporary music staged a total of 387 performances. On average, each performance drew attendance of 388 and generated revenue of $14,667, the highest average revenue across the industry.

In terms of revenue, the largest venues included Empire Theatre (Toowoomba) and Geelong Performing Arts Centre. The Key Organisations accounted for a relatively small portion of revenue and attendance in this category, reflecting the low level of government funding provided to contemporary music.

Photo: Neil Finn and Paul Kelly Tour - Live Nation Australasia

Festivals (Multi-Category)

Perhaps not surprising given the data set, Multi-Category Festivals was the smallest category, with only 27 performances. The category attracted 2,703 attendnces and generated less than $70,000 in revenue, which meant that Multi-Category Festivals had a 0.3% share of industry revenue and 0.4% share of industry attendance. The slightly weaker revenue result is due to a large percentage of unpaid tickets (13.0% of total attendance) and lower than average ticket prices ($29.70). This category also had low average attendance (100) and revenue ($2,586) per performance.

Regional and metropolitan venues generated the majority of revenue and attendance for this category. Key organisations also presented performances, most notably 600 Seconds, hosted by the Blue Room Theatre.

Photo: The Shadow King - Malthouse Theatre, Jeff Busby

Festivals (Single-Category)

Single-Category Festivals attracted 38,451 attendances and generated $1.54 million in revenue. This category had the highest average ticket price ($55.62), resulting in a higher share of industry revenue compared to attendance.

Single-Category Festivals staged 703 performances, well above the industry average of 425. However, low average attendance per performance (55) and the high proportion of unpaid tickets (28.1%), brought average revenue per performance down to $2,187.

Key Organisations contributed to the vast majority of revenue and attendance for Single-Category Festivals, with notable events being Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

Photo: Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2013 Festival Farewell Concert - Bruch's String Octet in B Flat Major, Paul Jeon

Musical Theatre

The Musical Theatre category drew attendance of 39,211 and generated revenue of $985,023, making it one of the smaller categories in this survey, in contrast to the main survey. $26.78 is the average ticket price for performances in the Musical Theatre category, which is substantially lower than the industry average of $33.99. This category also has a low proportion of unpaid tickets (6.2%).

This category only staged 98 performances, well below the average of 425, however these performances had the highest average number of attendees in the industry (400), generating an average of $10,051 in revenue.

Main contributors of revenue in this category were Empire Theatre (Toowoomba) and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, while the Key Organisations generated no revenue in this category.

Photo: King Kong - Global Creatures, Jeff Busby

Opera

The Opera category drew attendance of 11,303 and generated $384,166 in revenue, equating to 1.9% and 1.5% of total revenue and attendance respectively. While it is one of the smallest categories in this survey, opera performances have the second highest average ticket prices ($41.98) across the industry. 19.0% of tickets in this category were unpaid, which is just above the average of 17.8%.

This category only staged 31 performances, but those performances attracted an average of 365 attendees per performance, one of the highest figures in the industry. Aided by high ticket prices, the Opera category was able to generate average revenue of $12,392 per performance, which is the third highest figure in the industry.

The majority of revenue and attendance were generated by regional and metropolitan venues, as very few opera companies are funded as Key Organisations. In particular, Theatre Royal made a significant contribution to this category in Tasmania.

Photo: La Traviata - State Opera of South Australia, Darren Williams

Special Events

The Special Events category drew attendance of 7,960 and generated revenue of $173,053. This is the smallest category in the data set, accounting for only 0.8% of industry revenue and 1.1% of industry attendance. Its proportion of unpaid tickets is also very high, at 31.2%. This category is particularly variable as it is highly dependent on whether performances take place that cannot be classified into other categories.

Only 133 performances were staged in the Special Events category. Each performance attracted average attendance of 60 and average revenue of $1,301, making this category one of the poorest performing categories in the industry on these measures.

Metropolitan and regional venues accounted for the majority of revenue and attendance in this category. Key Organisations also staged some events in this category, including Sea Inside at the Blue Room Theatre and SONG, presented by Ranters Theatre.

Photo: Song - Ratners Theare, Jorge Izalde special-events_song_ranters-theatre_jorge-izalde.min.jpg

Theatre

The Theatre category drew attendance of 195,125 and generated $4.97 million in revenue, making it the second highest grossing category in terms of revenue, and the most popular category in terms of attendance. Low average ticket prices of $32.78 may also have assisted in the demand for Theatre performances, offsetting a high proportion of unpaid tickets (22.3%).

This category also staged the highest number of performances (2,465), which account for 48.3% of the total number of performances staged. However, average revenue per performance ($2,017) and average attendance per performance (79) are well below the industry averages.

Key Organisations produced most of the revenue for this category, with notable contributors being Barking Gecko Theatre Company and La Boite Theatre. Whitehorse Centre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre also made a significant contribution.

Photo: Shadow Dreams - Terrapin Puppet Theatre and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Peter Matthew