Size and Scope of the Live Performance Industry



Ernst & Young ("Consultant" or EY) was engaged on the instructions of Live Performance Australia ("Client") to undertake an economic size and scope study of the live performance industry in Australia ("Project"), in accordance with the engagement agreement dated 21 June 2013 including the General Terms and Conditions (“the Engagement Agreement”).

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Data Sources

The primary sources of data used in this study for each component of the industry were as follows:

  • AMPAG – The Australia Council provided ticket and revenue data and audited financial results.
  • Key Organisations – The Australia Council provided ticket and revenue data. The performance profile was based on stakeholder consultations and publicly available accounts data for Key Organisations.
  • Regional and Metro Venues – The Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA) provided ticket and revenue data from their 2013 Economic Activity Report.
  • Large scale venues and events – Venues and ticketing agencies provided ticket and revenue data.

Below is a list of survey participants that provided ticketing and revenue data.

Other relevant data was sourced from the ABS, industry reports and stakeholder consultations. These are listed throughout the report where relevant.

Estimation Approach

The economic contribution is estimated for the following four components:

  • The Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) of companies
  • Australia Council Key Organisations
  • Regional and Metro Venues
  • All other live performance events (referred to as ‘large scale venues and events’)

The economic contribution of the Live Performance Industry is the sum of all four components.

This approach is adopted due to data constraints and enables different event profiles to be applied to different components. The event profiles are in part based on assumptions regarding the cost profile of performances, ABS data and consultation with a sample of industry stakeholders, and ticket revenue data from the ticketing surveys.

Industry size and scope analysis typically involves an understanding of the population of businesses in the industry, and their revenues and surpluses. However, for the Live Performance Industry, the application of this approach is problematic:

The industry is rather fragmented, comprising many sole operators and small businesses. As such, it is difficult to obtain, with a relative degree of certainty, the true population of these businesses (and their associated revenues and expenditures).

There are many overlaps with other industries. For instance, some venue operators obtain income from hosting Live Performance events, but also from other events such as sports. Likewise, some individuals (such as performers) do not work full-time in this industry and derive their livelihood from other income sources that are outside of the Live Performance Industry. As such, it is difficult to separate the Live Performance components from other components for these businesses and individuals.

Given these limitations, and the data available for this study, an estimation process for the size and scope of each component of the industry has been developed and is presented over the page.

Survey Participants

Large scale venues and events

  1. Araluen Centre for Arts & Entertainment NT
  2. Arts Centre Melbourne
  3. Arts Projects Australia (WOMADelaide)
  4. BASS SA
  5. BOCS Ticketing WA
  6. Canberra Ticketing
  7. Cirque du Soleil
  8. Darwin Entertainment Centre
  9. Melbourne Recital Centre
  10. News Ticketing (Moshtix and Foxtix)
  11. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Qtix)
  12. SeatAdvisor Box Office (SABO)
  13. Sydney Opera House
  14. Ticketek
  15. Ticketmaster

AMPAG companies

  1. The Australian Ballet
  2. Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
  3. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
  4. Australian Chamber Orchestra
  5. Bangarra Dance Theatre
  6. Bell Shakespeare
  7. Belvoir
  8. Black Swan Theatre Company
  9. Circus Oz
  10. Malthouse Theatre
  11. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  12. Melbourne Theatre Company
  13. Musica Viva
  14. Opera Australia
  15. Opera Queensland
  16. Orchestra Victoria
  17. Queensland Ballet
  18. The Queensland Orchestra
  19. Queensland Theatre Company
  20. State Opera of South Australia
  21. State Theatre Company of South Australia
  22. Sydney Dance Company
  23. Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  24. Sydney Theatre Company
  25. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
  26. The West Australian Opera
  27. West Australian Ballet
  28. West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Australia Council Key Organisations

  1. Australian Art Orchestra Ltd
  2. Australian Dance Theatre
  3. Australian Festival of Chamber Music North Queensland Ltd
  4. Australian String Quartet Inc
  5. Australian Theatre for Young People
  6. Back to Back Theatre Inc
  7. BalletLab Association Inc
  8. Barking Gecko Theatre Company Ltd
  9. BlakDance Australia Ltd
  10. Brink Productions Limited
  11. Canberra Symphony Orchestra Incorporated
  12. Chunky Move Ltd
  13. Circa
  14. Dancehouse Incorporated
  15. Darwin Symphony Orchestra Incorporated
  16. Deckchair theatre Inc.
  17. Ensemble Offspring Incorporated
  18. Expressions The Queensland Dance Theatre Ltd
  19. Force Majeure
  20. Gondwana Choirs
  21. Griffin Theatre Company Limited
  22. HotHouse Theatre Limited
  23. Ilbijerri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-op
  24. Just Us Theatre Ensemble
  25. Kage Physical Theatre Association Inc
  26. La Boite Theatre Inc
  27. La Mama Inc (VIC)
  28. Lucy Guerin Association Inc
  29. Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People Ltd
  30. Music Council of Australia Pty Ltd
  31. Next Wave Festival Inc
  32. North Queensland Ballet and Dance Company Limited
  33. Not Yet It's Difficult Incorporated
  34. PACT Centre for Emerging Artists Inc
  35. Patch Theatre Company Inc
  36. Performing Arts Centre Society Inc
  37. PlayWriting Australia
  38. Polyglot Puppet Theatre Ltd
  39. Red Stitch Actors Theatre Ltd
  40. Restless Dance Theatre Inc
  41. Shaun Parker & Company Ltd
  42. Slingsby Theatre Company Ltd
  43. Snuff Puppets Inc
  44. Stalker Theatre Incorporated
  45. Synergy & TaikOz Ltd
  46. Tasdance Ltd
  47. Terrapin Puppet Theatre Ltd
  48. The Border Project Pty Ltd
  49. The Song Company Pty Ltd
  50. Topology Inc
  51. Tracks Inc
  52. Tura New Music Ltd
  53. Urban Theatre Projects Ltd
  54. Version 1.0 Inc
  55. Wangaratta Festival of Jazz Inc
  56. West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra Association
  57. Windmill

APACA Regional and Metro Venues

  1. New South Wales
    1. Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre
    2. Capitol Theatre Tamworth
    3. Casula Powerhouse
    4. Casula Powerhouse
    5. City Recital Hall Angel Place
    6. Civic Precinct Theatre
    7. Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre
    8. Glen Street Theatre
    9. Griffith Regional Theatre
    10. Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
    11. Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
    12. NORPA, Northern Rivers Performing Arts
    13. Orange Civic Theatre
    14. Riverside Theatres Parramatta
    15. Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre
    16. Sutherland Entertainment Centre
    17. The Glasshouse Arts Conference and Entertainment Centre
    18. Zenith Theatre & Convention Centre
  2. Victoria
    1. Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre
    2. Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre
    3. Drum Theatre
    4. Eastbank Centre - Riverlinks Venues
    5. ESSO BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre
    6. Frankston Arts Centre
    7. Geelong Performing Arts Centre
    8. Hamilton Performing Arts Centre
    9. Karralyka Centre
    10. Kingston Arts Centre
    11. Kyneton Arts Centre
    12. Lighthouse Theatre
    13. Melbourne Theatre Company
    14. Mildura Arts Centre
    15. Swan Hill Town Hall Performing Arts and Convention Centre
    16. The Capital - Bendigo's Performing Arts Centre
    17. The Cube Wodonga
    18. Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre
    19. Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre
    20. Wyndham Cultural Centre
  3. Queensland
    1. Brolga Theatre
    2. Cairns Civic Theatre
    3. Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns
    4. Empire Theatre
    5. Gladstone Entertainment Centre
    6. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
    7. Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre
    8. Mount Isa Civic Theatre
    9. Pilbeam Theatre
    10. QUT Gardens Theatre
    11. Redland Performing Arts Centre
    12. Roundhouse Theatre
    13. The Arts Centre Gold Coast
    14. The Events Centre
    15. Townsville Civic Theatre
  4. Western Australia
    1. Arts Margaret River Margaret River Cultural Centre
    2. Broome Civic Centre
    3. Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
    4. Carnarvon Civic Centre
    5. Don Russell Performing Arts Centre
    6. Esperance Civic Centre
    7. Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre
    8. Koorliny Arts Centre
    9. Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
    10. Matt Dann Cultural Centre
    11. Queens Park Theatre
    12. University Theatres - University of Western Australia
  5. South Australia
    1. Adelaide Festival Centre
    2. Barossa Arts & Convention Centre
    3. Country Arts South Australia
    4. Marion Cultural Centre
    5. Middleback Theatre
    6. Murray Bridge Town Hall
    7. Northern Festival Theatre
    8. Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre
    9. The Hopgood Theatre
  6. Australian Capital Territory
    1. Street Theatre
    2. Tuggeranong Arts Centre
  7. Tasmania
    1. Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre
    2. Theatre Royal

Revenue and Cost Descriptions

Box Office Income Ticketing Sales
Membership Income
Government Funding State Government Contributions
Commonwealth Government Contributions
Other Government Funding
Corporate Sponsorship and support Business Sponsorships and support
Other Personal Donations
Orchestra Hires
Royalty Income
Food and catering income
Wages Direct Wages to Employees, including performers
Contract Payments to Performers Payments to Performers
Rent, Leasing and Hiring Leasing of premises not directly related to performances (ie offices of event organizers)
Venue Hire Venue Costs to Venue Operators (does not include income foregone where event organisers own venues)
Ticketing Fees/Booking Fees
Travel, Accommodation and Vehicles Accommodation
Vehicle Hire
Advertising, Marketing and Promotions Advertising and Marketing expenses to external organisations
Purchases Production related purchases
Royalty Payments Royalty Payments to Artists
Staging, Equipment & Repairs Staging construction
Set costs (eg. Props)
Depreciation and maintenance of stage related assets*
Costume purchases
Other Insurance
Financing Costs
Consulting Services

* Lump sum capital costs are incorporated in the annual depreciation allowances, which amortises the capital amount over the life of the asset.


The Australian Major Performing Arts Group of companies funded through the Australia Council
The Australian Performing Arts Centres Association is the national peak body representing and supporting performing arts centres.
Import expense
A payment to international artists that is not retained in Australia.
Industry employment
The number of workers directly employed by the industry, expressed in terms of full time equivalent employees.
Industry output
The market value of goods and services produced by an industry, often measured by industry turnover
Industry value add
The market value of goods and services produced by an industry, after deducting the cost of goods and services used
Key Organisations
Small to medium arts organisations funded through the Australia Council
Large scale venues and events
All other live performance events not captured in the AMPAG companies, Key Organisations and regional and metro venues
Live Performance Industry
Businesses and workers that organise and perform work for or in connection with performances, productions, workshops, rehearsals or concerts (including the operation of venues or other facilities, whether permanent or temporary) that are performed in front of a live audience.
Regional and Metro venues
Regional and metropolitan performing arts centres that are members of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association