LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2014

Photo: Henry V - Bell Shakespeare, Michele Mossop

Revenue and Attendance by State

Clarence Shpritz

Overall Results

Between 2013 and 2014, New South Wales experienced gains in terms of revenue, attendance and industry share. This was largely driven by growth in the Musical Theatre category, which included successful runs of The Lion King and Strictly Ballroom in Sydney. The Festivals (Multi-Category) and Circus and Physical Theatre categories also contributed to strong growth in New South Wales. For Festivals (Multi-Category) this was largely due to the inclusion of The Falls Music and Arts Festival for the first time in 2014. In the Circus and Physical Theatre category, the strong results can largely be explained by Cirque du Soleil’s performances of Totem.

In contrast, Victoria experienced declines on all three measures (revenue, attendance and industry share), with particularly significant declines experienced in the Contemporary Music and Circus and Physical Theatre categories. In particular, Cirque du Soleil did not return to Victoria in 2014, after performing two productions in the state during 2013. In the Contemporary Music category, Pink did not return in 2014 after performing 18 shows in Melbourne in 2013, which helps to explain the decline in revenue and attendance in Victoria. Overall, New South Wales and Victoria had combined revenue of $997.21 million and continued to account for approximately two-thirds of the entire Australian Live Performance Industry.

Across the other States and Territories, results were mixed. Notably, Tasmania and the Northern Territory experienced significant revenue growth (382.8% and 45.9% respectively). For Tasmania, at least part of this growth can be explained by the first time inclusion of data from Oztix and MONA. In the Northern Territory, gains were driven by the Contemporary Music, Circus and Physical Theatre and Children’s/Family categories. Each of these categories experienced an increase in the number of performances staged, with major shows including James Blunt and One Tropical Day (Contemporary Music), Wunderkammer by Circa (Circus and Physical Theatre), and The Wiggles and Peppa Pig Live (Children’s/Family). South Australia also performed well with increases in revenue (7.5%) and attendance (7.8%). Attendance in Queensland also grew strongly (14.8%), but growth in revenue was unable to keep pace (1.9%). There were a number of categories that contributed to this movement in Queensland, including Comedy, Children’s/Family, Opera and Festivals (Multi-Category). On the other hand, the Australian Capital Territory experienced a fall in both revenue and attendance, with the most significant decline occurring in the Circus and Physical Theatre category. Western Australia experienced a fall in revenue despite higher attendance, primarily due to a fall in the average ticket price in that state. There were multiple factors contributing to this result including the absence of any Cirque du Soleil performances, which generally have a high ticket price, and the inclusion of smaller performances through the Oztix data. Click for more info

Close Table

Total Revenue and Attendances by State/Territory (2013-14)

State/Territory Revenue Share of Industry (2014) Share of Industry (2013) Change in Revenue from 2013 Tickets Share of Industry (2014) Share of Industry (2013) Change in Attendance from 2013
New South Wales $547,173,799 36.3% 33.6% 10.0% 6,132,827 33.1% 32.7% 4.6%
Victoria $450,034,039 29.8% 32.0% -5.0% 5,318,537 28.7% 31.3% -5.2%
Queensland $203,918,468 13.5% 13.5% 1.9% 2,661,632 14.4% 12.9% 14.8%
Western Australia $177,326,653 11.8% 13.1% -8.7% 2,266,435 12.2% 12.0% 5.2%
South Australia $100,944,048 6.7% 6.3% 7.5% 1,614,267 8.7% 8.4% 7.8%
Australian Capital Territory $13,852,222 0.9% 1.0% -8.3% 246,542 1.3% 2.0% -29.8%
Tasmania $11,600,525 0.8% 0.2% 382.8% 185,011 1.0% 0.4% 146.3%
Northern Territory $3,114,197 0.2% 0.1% 45.9% 111,183 0.6% 0.3% 91.7%
Total $1,507,963,952 100.0% 100.0% 2.0% 18,536,434 100.0% 100.0% 3.4%

Percentage Movement by State

Photo: But Wait There's More - Circus Oz, Rob Blackburn

Population and Per Capita Results Click for more info

Share of population is shown by bubble size

A comparison of each state and territory’s share of the Live Performance Industry against their population provides insight into spend per capita as well as the concentration of the Industry relative to where people live. Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia command a larger share of both Live Performance revenue and attendance compared to their share of Australia’s population. Although Victoria experienced a decline in revenue and attendance in 2014, it still remained well above its share of the population and had the highest spend per capita both in 2014 and 2013. Across the other states and territories, all had a smaller share of industry revenue compared to their population, although South Australia had a larger share of attendance.

There exist several possible explanations for these disproportional results:

  • Some of Australia’s largest performing arts companies are based in New South Wales and Victoria and as such stage the bulk of their performances in Sydney and Melbourne, for example Opera Australia (Sydney), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and The Australian Ballet (Melbourne).
  • Destination NSW and The Victorian Major Events Company are particularly active in the major events market and as such have been successful in attracting major live performance events to these states. For example, Destination NSW attracted the world premiere of Strictly Ballroom and the return of Disney’s The Lion King. In other categories, it has secured investment in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and continued investment in Vivid Sydney.
  • The majority of regional performances are not included in this Survey and as such, performances in larger states with significant regional markets, such as Queensland, are under-reported. To capture these types of live performance events LPA and EY are producing a supplementary ticket attendance and revenue report for 2014 that will include data from regional venue members of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA).
  • Further, cities such as Brisbane are constrained in their ability to host performances due to a smaller number of venues and hence capacity, compared to Melbourne for example.
  • South Australia’s larger share of attendance can partly be explained by the inclusion of Adelaide Fringe data. This festival attracted high attendance to the numerous low cost events.
  • It should be noted that these state and territory breakdowns do not take into account people who travel from interstate or overseas to watch a live performance. Industry share only accounts for the state or territory in which the performance took place and hence where the revenue and attendance is recognised. This is particularly relevant for categories such as Musical Theatre where musicals opening their season in a particular state often attract significant visitation from outside that state.
Close Table

Population and Per Capita Results (2014)

State/Territory Population (2013) (m) Share of Population Share of Industry Revenue  Share of Industry Attendance Spend per Capita
New South Wales 7.57 32.0% 36.3% 33.1% $73.29
Victoria 5.89 24.9% 29.8% 28.7% $77.71
Queensland 4.75 20.1% 13.5% 14.4% $43.47
Western Australia 2.58 10.9% 11.8% 12.2% $69.52
South Australia 1.69 7.2% 6.7% 8.7% $60.18
Australian Capital Territory 0.39 1.6% 0.9% 1.3% $36.06
Tasmania 0.52 2.2% 0.8% 1.0% $22.57
Northern Territory 0.24 1.0% 0.2% 0.6% $12.84
Total 23.63  100.0% 100.0% 100.0% $64.67

* Population is as of December 2013 based on estimates by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Cat. No. 3101.0

Photo: Perth International Arts Festival 2014, Toni Wilkinson

Individual State Results

New South Wales

NSW infographic (PDF)

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: The Literati - Griffin Theatre and Bell Shakespeare, Daniel Boud

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: Jasper Jones - Melbourne Theatre Company, Jeff Busby

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: Strictly Gerhswin - Queensland Ballet, David Kelly

Western Australia

WA infographic (PDF)

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: The Nutcracker - West Australian Ballet, Emma Fishwick

South Australia

SA infographic (PDF)

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: Big Bad Wolf - Windmill Theatre, Tony Lewis

Australian Capital Territory

ACT infographic (PDF)

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: The Peasant Prince - Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Heidrun Lohr

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: Othello - Bell Shakespeare, Daniel Boud

Northern Territory

NT infographic (PDF)

State Trends

Category Share

Photo: You and Me and the Space Between - Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Peter Matthew