Between 2016 and 2017 the live performance industry experienced growth in both ticket sales revenue and attendance in every state and territory. The variation in growth generated in each market is primarily impacted by major tours or events, particularly international tours, that take place in each state or territory in any given year.
Queensland experienced the highest growth in revenue and third highest growth in terms of attendance amongst all states and territories. Between 2016 and 2017, revenue increased by 46.4% (to $263.9m) and attendance increased by 26.5% (to 3.2m). This significant growth was primarily driven by major contemporary music performances including Adele and Paul McCartney, and major musicals including Kinky Boots, Matilda and My Fair Lady.
Victoria experienced increases of 45.3% in revenue (to $639.9m) and 35.6% in attendance (to 7.4m) between 2016 and 2017. This increase in revenue and attendance was largely driven by growth in the following categories:
- Circus and Physical Theatre experienced an increase of 351.4% in revenue and 158% in attendance, primarily attributable to Cirque du Soleil’s tours of both Toruk and Kooza to Victoria.
- Contemporary Music experienced an increase of 97.3% in revenue and 60.6% in attendance, driven by performances by major international artists such as Adele, Paul McCartney, Guns N' Roses, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber.
- Musical Theatre revenue increased by 59.2% and attendance by 56.3% due to performances of major musicals taking place including The Book of Mormon, My Fair Lady and Aladdin.
- Theatre revenue increased by 19.3% and attendance by 42.5% due to high-profile performances such as the Melbourne season of the Pop-Up Globe’s Much Ado about Nothing, As You Like It, Othello and Henry V, as well as The Play That Goes Wrong.
NSW experienced a steady increase in revenue of 16.2% (to $615.8m) and growth of 13.5% (to 6.9m) in attendance between 2016 and 2017. The increase in revenue was driven by significant increases in Festival (Multi-Category) (107.4%), Contemporary music (71.4%), Festival (Contemporary Music) (26.4%) and Special Events (373.5%), offset by declines in Theatre (39.4%), Circus and Physical Theatre (35%), Opera (13.2%), Children’s/Family (7.6%) and Musical Theatre (6.5%).
- Festival (Multi-Category) revenue increased primarily due to the growth of Sydney Festival with shows such as the musical Ladies in Black. Contemporary Music revenue increased primarily due to performances by major international artists including Adele, Guns N’ Roses and Paul McCartney among many others. Festival (Contemporary Music) growth can be primarily attributed to the growth of major festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, Bluesfest and Groovin’ the Moo.
- Theatre revenue decreased primarily due to a 22.6% decline in average ticket prices, as well as less major commercial theatre productions in 2017 in comparison to 2016. For example, Mrs Brown’s Boys which performed in NSW in 2016 did not take place in 2017. Circus and Physical Theatre revenue declined, primarily driven by less Cirque du Soleil performances in 2017 compared to 2016.
WA revenue increased by 33.1% (to $196.7m), while there was a 11.5% rise in attendance (to 2.6m) between 2016 and 2017. The growth in revenue was largely driven by increases in the following categories:
- Contemporary Music witnessed significant growth of 98.7% (to $91.8m) in revenue, while there was an increase of 36.8% (to 0.93m) in attendance between 2016 and 2017. The growth was primarily driven by performances from internationally renowned artists such as Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber and Paul McCartney.
- Circus and Physical Theatre experienced significant growth in revenue of 416.6% (to $28m), and growth in attendance of 360.5% (to 0.28m) between 2016 and 2017, primarily attributable to Cirque du Soleil’s tours of Toruk and Kooza.
- Festivals (Multi Category) witnessed growth of 23.5% (to $13.7m) in revenue, while there was an increase of 5.8% (to 0.41m) in attendance between 2016 and 2017. Revenue growth was driven by major festivals such as Fringe World Festival (Perth), Perth Festival and Falls Festival (Fremantle) which took place for the first time in 2017.
SA experienced significant growth in revenue of 31% (to $123.5m), while attendance increased by 16.9% (to 2.1m) between 2016 and 2017. Major categories which contributed to the growth in revenue were:
- Contemporary Music generated growth in revenue of 113.9%, with a 50.9% increase in attendance, primarily driven by performances from major international artists such as Adele, Bruce Springsteen and Guns N’ Roses among many others.
- Circus and Physical Theatre revenue grew by 175%, with a 55% increase in attendance, primarily attributable to Cirque du Soleil’s tour of Toruk.
- Festival (Contemporary Music) experienced a growth of 35.1%, despite a 6.6% decline in attendance. Revenue growth was driven by major festivals such as Groovin’ the Moo and St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.
Tasmania achieved moderate growth in revenue (9.9% to $16.2m) between 2016 and 2017, as well as recording the highest growth (84.3% to 0.44m) in attendance amongst all states and territories. It should be noted that without the addition of data from the Theatre Royal (Hobart) for the first time, Tasmania recorded a slight decline (0.8%) in revenue in 2017.
ACT revenue increased by 26.7% (to $24.8m), while attendance grew by 15% (to 0.36m) between 2016 and 2017. This was driven by significant growth in the Musical Theatre, Festival (Contemporary Music) and Children’s/Family categories.
NT experienced a growth in revenue by 6.6% (to $3.4m), and slight growth in attendance by 2.0% (to 66.6k) between 2016 and 2017.