LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2013

Photo: Waiting for Godot - Sydney Theatre Company, Lisa Tomasetti


Live Performance Australia (LPA) takes great pleasure in presenting our Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey for 2013 (Survey).

This is the tenth annual Survey presented by LPA. The Survey is now the principal source of reliable industry statistics for the Australian Live Performance Industry, and represents the most comprehensive available survey of ticket sales for Australian Live Performance events. As the Industry’s leading source for up-to-date results and trends, the Survey is drawn upon extensively by the industry, government, media and business.

There were substantial gains made in 2013, in what was overall a strong year for the Live Performance Industry. This reflects a year of improved consumer confidence across Australia, in which consumer confidence was generally higher than in 2012.

Overall revenue for the Industry increased steadily this year, from $1.205 billion in 2012 to $1.479 billion in 2013 – an increase of 22.7% and the highest revenue recorded since the Survey was initiated. This increase in revenue was double the growth experienced in overall attendance, which increased by 10.2%, from 14.1 million paid tickets in 2012 to 16.05 million in 2013. Growth in revenue reflects an increase in both total number of paid tickets and the average ticket price.

The Survey recorded 17.93 million tickets (including paid, complimentary, sponsor and zero-priced tickets) for Live Performance Industry events were issued in Australia in 2013 (16.27 million in 2012).

In terms of new data partners, this year’s Survey includes data from FringeTIX, which provides ticketing services to the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and data from the Perth-based Fringe Festival Fringe World 2013. Both provided data in the category of Festivals (Multi-Category), which positively impacted this category. Additionally, Bluesfest provided ticketing information for the Bluesfest Festival in the category of Festivals (Single-Category), Boomerang Festival in the category of Festivals (Multi-Category), and touring shows in the category of Contemporary Music.

The addition of new data partners is important to improving the reach and coverage of the Survey. We encourage event owners not presently included in the Survey to become data partners.

LPA is mindful that performances by the small to medium sector, and at regional venues, continue to be underreported in this Survey. Recently we have been working closely with the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Australian Performing Arts Centre Australia (APACA) to redress this issue in a new supplementary report to be released later in 2014.

Since 2012 the Survey has included an analysis of revenue and attendance on a per capita basis. The results for this year’s Survey show that Victoria and Western Australia command a larger share of both Live Performance revenue and attendance compared to their share of Australia’s population. Although New South Wales’ share of the national industry declined in 2013, it still remained above its share of the population. Across the other states and territories, all had a smaller share of industry revenue compared to their population, although South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory had a larger share of attendance.

Most states and territories experienced a stronger year, with gains to revenues and attendances. In particular, Western Australia experienced significant revenue growth (44.9%) with gains in all event categories other than Theatre, and particularly strong growth in Circus and Physical Theatre. South Australia also performed well, although this was in part due to the inclusion of Adelaide Fringe for the first time in 2013.

As with previous years, the Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre categories represent the two largest categories in the industry, generating 42.5% and 13.1% of revenue, respectively.

Combined, these two categories account for 55.6% of the Live Performance Industry in terms of gross revenue and 46.6% of total attendance. In terms of Contemporary Music, which commands more than one third of live performance industry market share, annual variance in this category strongly reflects the number of big-name international artists which tour in any given year and the number of stadium tours.

The genres which experienced the strongest growth in 2013 were the Festivals (Multi-Category) and Circus and Physical Theatre categories. The significant increases for Festivals (Multi-Category), in which gross revenue increased by 98.4% from $12.92 million in 2012 to $25.62 million in 2013 and total attendance increased by 201.8%, can largely be explained by the first time inclusion of data for Adelaide Fringe and Perth’s Fringe World festivals.

The increase in the Circus and Physical Theatre category was significant. Gross revenue increased by 162.8% from $54.04 million in 2012 to $142.03 million in 2013, while total attendance increased by 131.5%. This increase is primarily due to the number and calibre of touring performances, including two major Cirque Du Soleil productions (Ovo and Michael Jackson: The Immortal).

LPA’s Survey is the preeminent data source for the industry, and we remain extremely grateful to Media Super whose generous sponsorship makes it all possible.

We also thank our Survey Consultants EY for their professional services in compiling and analysing the Survey data, and our Website Designers Digital Bridge, for their construction of the Digital Report. This is our first time presenting our Ticketing Surveys online – and we hope you find the digital format informative and intuitive, allowing greater ease of comparison with previous year’s data and tracking of trends.

Finally, we sincerely thank all Survey Participants for their provision of data to the Survey. The generous cooperation and effort of all parties involved is, as always, greatly appreciated.

Evelyn Richardson
Evelyn Richardson
Chief Executive
Live Performance Australia

August 2014

The Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey is proudly sponsored by
Media Super

Download the Report

Executive Summary (PDF) Full Report (PDF)

Photo: Symphony in the City - WA Symphony Orchestra, Emma Van Dordrecht

Ticket Revenue and Attendance Overview

There were significant gains made in 2013, in what was overall a strong year for the Live Performance Industry. The gain was largely driven by significantly higher revenue and patronage in the Contemporary Music and Circus and Physical Theatre categories, which together comprise over 50% of the industry in terms of revenue. The increases in these categories were primarily due to the number and calibre of touring performances. For Contemporary Music, the major tours in 2013 included Beyoncé, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, One Direction and Pink. In particular, Pink’s tour was extended to 46 Australian shows. For Circus and Physical Theatre, major performances included two Cirque Du Soleil productions (Ovo and Michael Jackson: The Immortal), Slava’s Snowshow and Empire.

The Theatre, Festival (Multi-Category) and Special Events categories also performed well, with gains to both revenues and attendances. Reasons for these gains varied across the categories. In the Theatre category, increases were due to commercial theatre tours and an overall strong year for the AMPAG companies. In contrast, the increase for Festivals (Multi-Category) was largely due to the first time inclusion of the Adelaide Fringe and Fringe World festivals in the 2013 Survey. The increase in the Special Events category can be explained by the variability in this category, as it is highly dependent on whether performances that cannot be classified into other categories take place.

On the other hand, the Children’s/Family and Opera categories experienced some of the larger declines in both revenue and attendances. The decline in Opera revenues and attendances was in part due to fewer performances by the AMPAG companies. Notably, Opera Australia did not return to Brisbane in 2013, after performing there for the first time in 24 years in 2012. Additionally, Opera Queensland had fewer performances in 2013, further contributing to the large decline in that state. Opera Australia is also increasingly staging musicals as part of its regular season, and the revenue and attendance for these performances is reflected in the Musical Theatre category.

In the Children’s/Family category, the How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular which toured in 2012 was not staged in 2013, impacting revenue and attendance in the category. The Musical Theatre and Comedy categories also experienced declines in both revenue and attendance.

The overall gains in the Live Performance Industry in 2013 are consistent with a year of improved consumer confidence across Australia. Consumer confidence measures the level of economic optimism that consumers have and as such, is an indicator of their willingness to spend. Consumer confidence fluctuated throughout 2013, but was generally higher than in 2012.

Photo: WOMADelaide - Arts Projects Australia, Tony Lewis