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In 2016 the Comedy category recorded the highest ticket sales revenue and attendance since this category was introduced in 2009. However, in 2017 the Comedy category experienced a decline both in ticket sales revenue and attendance. Revenue decreased by 16.3% from $86.4m in 2016 to $72.3m in 2017, and attendance decreased by 12.1%, from 1.41m in 2016 to 1.24m in 2017. This is the first year since 2013 where this category experienced a decline in both revenue and attendance. From 2013 to 2016, this category witnessed three consecutive years of growth in both revenue and attendance. The decline in average ticket price by 4.9% from $65.54 in 2016 to $62.32 in 2017, as well as less major national tours by international comedians, contributed to the decline in revenue.
Major high-profile comedians that headlined tours in 2017 included international comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Russell Howard as well as local comedians Carl Barron and Judith Lucy & Denise Scott.
In 2017, all states and territories except NSW and Tasmania experienced a decline in revenue. All states except Tasmania witnessed a decline in attendance. In 2017, Tasmania was the only state or territory which experienced growth both in revenue (43.1%) and in attendance (82.1%), primarily driven by more comedy performances in 2017 compared with 2016. However, its impact is minimal as it represents only 0.3% in revenue and 0.4% in attendance of the overall market share in Comedy.
NSW experienced moderate growth in revenue (4.6%) despite a slight decline (0.3%) in attendance. Victoria is the highest contributor to this category both in revenue and in attendance, representing 37.8% of the market share in revenue and 47.2% of the total attendance, primarily due to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. NSW and Victoria combined generated around 68.8% of the total market share of revenue and around 71.6% of total attendance in the Comedy category.