LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2016

Photo: Kinky Boots, Michael Cassel Group, Matthew Murphy


Live Performance Australia (LPA) takes great pleasure in presenting our Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey for 2016 (“Survey”).

This is our 13th annual Survey. It is now the principal source of reliable industry statistics for the Australian live performance industry, and represents the most comprehensive information on annual ticket sales for Australian live performance events available. As the leading source for industry results and trends, the Survey is drawn upon extensively by the industry, government, media and business.

The 2016 Survey shows that the live performance industry continues to contribute significantly to our economy and cultural ecology. In 2016, 18.78 million tickets were issued to live performance events, generating total ticket sales revenue of $1.43 billion. That’s more than the combined attendances at AFL, NRL, Soccer, Super Rugby, Cricket and NBL in 2016 (Australian Sporting Attendances 2016, Stadiums Australia).

In comparison to 2015, ticket sales revenue increased slightly by 1.2% and in attendance by 0.8%, showing that Australia’s live performance industry has remained stable. Conversely, the different genre categories experienced varying shifts in growth and decline. This trend is consistent with previous years and is primarily due to the impact of major tours or events, particularly international tours, in the market in any given year.

We encourage you to explore this digital report in depth. The data and commentary is broken down by both state and genre categories, providing a detailed analysis of the diverse and dynamic Australian live performance market. Genre categories include ballet and dance, children’s/family events, circus and physical theatre, classical music, comedy, contemporary music, festivals (multi-category), festivals (contemporary music), musical theatre, opera, special events, and theatre.

The development of LPA’s research reports, integral to promoting the value and importance of our industry, is made possible by the provision of data by our Survey participants, including ticketing companies, self-ticketing venues, event promoters and the Australia Council for the Arts on behalf of the Major Performing Arts companies. The generous cooperation and effort of all Survey participants is, as always, greatly appreciated. We also thank our Survey Consultants, EY, for their professional services in compiling and analysing the Survey data, and our Web Designers, Digital Bridge, for their preparation of the Digital Report. We hope you find the digital format informative and intuitive, allowing greater ease of comparison with previous year’s data and tracking of trends.

Evelyn Richardson
Evelyn Richardson
Chief Executive
Live Performance Australia

September 2017

Download the Report

Key Findings (PDF) Full Report (PDF)

Photo: Cat Empire - WOMADelaide 2016, Tony Lewis

Ticket Revenue and Attendance Overview

Industry growth

  • In 2016 (calendar year), the Australian live performance industry generated total ticket sales revenue of $1.43b, up 1.2% on 2015 when ticket sales totalled $1.41b. This increase in revenue was a result of an increase in the total number of paid tickets, offset by a slight decrease in the average ticket price by 3% from $86.34 to $83.72.
  • Approximately 18.78m tickets were issued in 2016, representing an increase of 0.8% from 2015 when 18.63m tickets were issued. Of the 18.78m total tickets, the number of paid tickets issued was 17.09m, an increase from 16.37m sold in 2015. The remaining 1.7m tickets issued in 2016 were complimentary, sponsor allocated and zero-priced tickets.
  • In 2016 the highest number of tickets issued for live performance events since 2008 was recorded. Although revenue increased slightly in 2016, it is still well short of the record revenues achieved in 2013 ($1.48b) and 2014 ($1.51b). This is due to the record high average ticket prices achieved in these years, driven by major international tours in the Contemporary Music category during the period, including Pink, Katy Perry, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

Drivers of growth

  • Consistent with previous years, NSW generated the highest share of national live performance revenue and attendance (35%), with Victoria being the second largest contributor (30%). Combined NSW and Victoria generated approximately 65% of Australia’s live performance revenue and attendance in 2016.
  • Tasmania experienced the highest state growth in revenue (38.5%) and attendance (13.7%) in 2016. NSW also experienced steady growth in revenue by 10.9% and attendance by 8.6%.
  • Consistent with previous years, Contemporary Music is the largest category in the industry, generating a 30.5% market share of total revenue and attendance.
  • Revenue growth in Comedy (57.3%), Children’s/Family Events (41.6%), Classical Music (36.1%), Special Events (44.1%) and Theatre (40%) drove growth in the live performance industry in 2016. This growth was offset by revenue declines in Circus and Physical Theatre (26.1%), Festivals (Contemporary Music) (25.2%), Festivals (Multi-Category) (8.9%) and Contemporary Music (7.9%).

Photo: Double Indemnity - Melbourne Theatre Company, Jeff Busby