LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report 2017

Photo: WOMADelaide 2017, Tony Lewis


Live Performance Australia (LPA) takes great pleasure in presenting our Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report for 2017 (“Report”).

This is our 14th annual Report. 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 Report is drawn upon extensively by the industry, government, media and business.

The 2017 Report shows that the live performance industry continues to contribute significantly to our economy and cultural ecology. In 2017, 23 million tickets were issued to live performance events, generating total ticket sales revenue of $1.88 billion. That’s more than the combined attendances at AFL, NRL, Soccer, Super Rugby, Cricket and NBL in 2017 (Australian Sporting Attendances 2018, Stadiums Australia).

The live performance industry had a record-breaking year in 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, ticket sales revenue increased significantly by 31.7% and in attendance by 22.6%. Additionally, every state and territory recorded growth in revenue and attendance. 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 data 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 data participants is, as always, greatly appreciated.

We also thank our Report Consultants, EY, for their professional services in compiling and analysing the ticket 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 ease of comparison with previous year’s data and tracking of trends.

Evelyn Richardson
Evelyn Richardson
Chief Executive
Live Performance Australia

October 2018

Download the Report

Key Findings (PDF) Full Report (PDF)

Photo: The Guru of Chai Belvoir, Brett Boardman

Ticket Revenue and Attendance Overview

Industry growth

  • In 2017 (calendar year), the Australian live performance industry generated total ticket sales revenue of $1.88b – an increase of 31.7% from 2016, when ticket sales totalled $1.43b. This increase in revenue was the result of a 21.7% increase in the total number of paid tickets in 2017, coupled with an increase in the average ticket price by 8.2% from $83.72 to $90.59.
  • Approximately 23.02m tickets were issued in 2017, representing an increase of 22.6% from 2016 when 18.78m tickets were issued. Of the 23.02m total tickets, the number of paid tickets issued was 20.8m (an increase from 17.09m tickets sold in 2016). The remaining 2.2m tickets issued in 2017 were complimentary, sponsor allocated and zero-priced tickets.
  • In 2017 the number of tickets issued and revenue generated for live performance events was the highest recorded since 2004. However, the average ticket price in 2017 ($90.59) is still slightly short of the record average ticket prices achieved in 2013 ($92.16) and 2014 ($91.57) which were 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

  • Victoria generated the highest share of national live performance revenue (34.0%) and attendance (32.0%) in 2017, with New South Wales (NSW) being the second largest contributor in revenue (32.7%) and in attendance (29.9%). Combined, Victoria and NSW generated approximately 66.7% of Australia’s live performance revenue and 61.9% of attendance in 2017.
  • Queensland experienced the greatest growth in revenue (46.4%) primarily driven by growth in Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre, closely followed by Victoria (45.3%). The highest growth in attendance was witnessed in Tasmania (84.3%), followed by Victoria (35.6%) and Queensland (26.5%).
  • Contemporary Music remains the largest category in the industry in 2017, representing a market share of 43.8% in revenue and 36.8% in attendance.
  • Revenue growth in Contemporary Music (87.7%), Circus and Physical Theatre (58.7%), Festival (Contemporary Music) (26%) and Musical Theatre (19.9%) categories drove growth in the live performance industry in 2017. This growth was offset by revenue declines in Special Events (82.8%), Opera (21.4%), Theatre (19.3%), Comedy (16.3%) and Children's/Family (5.5%) categories.

Photo: Violinist Maxim Vengerov in the 2017 SSO Opening Gala - Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Ken Butti