LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2013

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



This report was prepared at the request of Live Performance Australia solely for the purposes of publishing the Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey Report and it is not appropriate for use for other purposes.

Other persons accessing this report should do so for their general information only as EY has only acted for, and advised Live Performance Australia, and has not acted for or advised anyone else in respect of the contents of this report.

This report should not be taken as providing specific advice on any issue, nor may this report be relied upon in any way by any person other than Live Performance Australia.

The report has been constructed based on information current as of 1 January 2014, and which has been provided by the Survey Participants as outlined in Appendix A of this Report. Since this date, material events may have occurred since completion which are not reflected in the report.

EY accepts no responsibility for use of the information contained in the report and makes no guarantee nor accepts any legal liability whatsoever arising from or connected to the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained in this report. EY and all other parties involved in the preparation and publication of this report expressly disclaim all liability for any costs, loss, damage, injury or other consequence which may arise directly or indirectly from use of, or reliance on, the report.

Liability limited under a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Survey Participants

  1. Araluen Centre for Arts & Entertainment NT
  2. The Arts Centre (Melbourne)
  3. Arts Projects Australia (WOMADelaide) SA
  4. BASS SA
  5. Bluesfest
  6. Canberra Ticketing
  7. Cirque du Soleil
  8. Darwin Entertainment Centre
  9. FringeTIX (Adelaide Fringe)
  10. Fringe World Festival (Perth)
  11. Melbourne Recital Centre
  12. The Ticket Group (previously Moshtix and Foxtix)
  13. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Qtix)
  14. Sydney Opera House
  15. Ticketmaster
  16. Ticketek

AMPAG companies

  1. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
  2. The Australian Ballet
  3. Australian Brandenburg 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. Queensland Symphony 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. West Australian Ballet
  27. West Australian Opera
  28. West Australian Symphony Orchestra

Scope of work

Ernst & Young (EY) has been engaged by Live Performance Australia (LPA) to undertake a survey of ticket attendances and revenues for the Live Performance Industry for the 2013 calendar year. The Live Performance Industry encompasses performances, productions, previews or concerts that are performed in front of a live audience. The scope of our work included:

  • Coordinating the collection of the ticket sales and revenue data (“national survey data”) for the Live Performance Industry in Australia from participating ticketing companies, venues, entertainment companies, event promoters and the Australia Council for the Arts
  • Compiling the 2013 national survey data on an overall basis, by state and by event category
  • Performing an analysis of the 2013 national survey data on an overall basis (and in comparison to previous years), by state and by event category.

This study follows on from the previous annual ticketing studies published by LPA in partnership with EY since 2006.


For this Survey, EY compiled data from ticketing companies, self-ticketing venues, event promoters and the Australia Council for the Arts (collectively referred to in this study as the “Survey participants”). The ticketing companies, self-ticketing venues and event promoters that provided data as part of this study were as follows:

  • Araluen Centre for Arts &Entertainment NT
  • The Arts Centre (Melbourne)
  • Arts Projects Australia (WOMADelaide) SA
  • Bluesfest
  • Canberra Ticketing
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Darwin Entertainment Centre
  • FringeTIX (Adelaide Fringe)
  • Fringe World Festival (Perth)
  • Melbourne Recital Centre
  • The Ticket Group (previously Moshtix and Foxtix)
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Qtix)
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Ticketmaster
  • Ticketek.

These companies were identified by LPA and provided both gross revenue and attendance data to EY for the 2013 calendar year. Gross revenue comprised revenue sourced from paid tickets only (i.e. it excludes sponsorships); while the attendance data provided and applied in the analysis included both paid and non-paid tickets*. Average ticket price data was calculated based on paid tickets only. As for the Australia Council, the data was limited to the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) companies. These were:

  • Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
  • The Australian Ballet
  • Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
  • Australian Chamber Orchestra
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Bell Shakespeare
  • Belvoir
  • Black Swan Theatre Company
  • Circus Oz
  • Malthouse Theatre
  • Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Melbourne Theatre Company
  • Musica Viva
  • Opera Australia
  • Opera Queensland
  • Orchestra Victoria
  • Queensland Ballet
  • Queensland Symphony Orchestra
  • Queensland Theatre Company
  • State Opera of South Australia
  • State Theatre Company of South Australia
  • Sydney Dance Company
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Sydney Theatre Company
  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
  • West Australian Ballet
  • West Australian Opera
  • West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

* Non-paid tickets include complimentary/sponsor/zero price tickets which are defined as those tickets that are given away for free or as part of contra, sponsorship or sales incentive agreements. It may also include tickets with an undetermined value at the time of issue, providing the ticket is generated with a zero price.

For these AMPAG companies, the gross revenue includes both single ticket sales as well as subscription revenues.

Ticketing data was assigned by the ticketing companies, self-ticketing venues and the Australia Council to event categories based on the guidelines established between LPA and these organisations. Table 1 presents a description of these event categories. Further, as part of these guidelines, the ticketing companies and venues are requested to exclude from their data all events produced or presented by the AMPAG Companies. This is to avoid double counting of revenue and attendance data.

Category DescriptionĀ 
Ballet and Dance Traditional forms, Ethnic dance, Folk dance, Ballet, Ballroom, Latin dance, Liturgical dance, Modern dance, Ballet, Tap, and Breakdancing
Children’s/Family Live entertainment for children, Interactive performances for children and Workshops for children
Circus and Physical Theatre* Physical Theatre, Circus and Burlesque
Classical Music Any of the following in classical/contemporary art (i.e. current, but not ‘pop’) style: Orchestral music, Chamber music, Choirs and choral music, Recitals, and Singing/playing. All styles of the following: Sacred music and Traditional music/ethnic music/world music
Comedy* Stand up, comedy performances (but not Comedy plays)
Contemporary Music^ All forms of the following, performed by any type of ensemble or soloist (including any ensemble/chorus/solo musicians advertising a program which is exclusively one of the following categories, e.g. ‘pop’ or ‘jazz,’ as in The Australian Jazz Orchestra): Pop, Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, Folk, Soul, R&B, Techno, Hip hop, Rap, Heavy Metal, and Electronic Dance Music
Festivals (Multi-Category) Festivals/events which contain a number of different types of events which fall into two or more categories
Festivals (Single-Category) Festivals/events which contain a number of events but which fall into one category only
Musical Theatre Staged productions which include music/drama/movement in popular form, primarily (but not limited to): Musicals Cabarets in cabaret mode/style
Opera Theatrical presentations in which a dramatic performance is set to music in classical or contemporary art style: Opera and Operetta (includes Gilbert and Sullivan)
Special Events Unique presentations which do not fall into any other category
Theatre Script based theatre, Drama, Comedy theatre, Mime and Plays

*These categories were introduced in 2009
^This category was renamed in 2011, having been named “Non-Classical Music” in prior years

Survey participants provided data to EY directly. Confidentiality Deeds were in place between data providers and EY where requested. As such, and consistent with our agreed approach, EY did not reveal, insofar as possible, disaggregated raw survey data or event specific revenue or ticketing data to LPA.

While our scope of works did not include a detailed review of all data to determine the appropriateness of the events and event category allocations, where obvious anomalies were identified, appropriate amendments were made. Examples of such anomalies included for instance:

  • Sporting events, fashion festivals, workshops, cinema screenings, award nights, graduation ceremonies, theme park passes and art exhibitions were identified in some data sets. These were excluded as they are not considered part of the Live Performance Industry.
  • Royal Melbourne Show included in Special Events was excluded as this was not considered to be part of the Live Performance Industry.
  • Amateur events such as school performances, dance academy concerts and other community group performances were excluded as the scope of this Survey does not include amateur performances.
  • Music festivals included in Contemporary Music were reallocated to Festivals (Single-Category).
  • Comedy events included in Theatre or Festivals (Single-Category) were reallocated to the Comedy category.
  • Circus events included in the Theatre, Special Events, or Children’s/Family categories were reallocated to the Circus and Physical Theatre category.


As with previous studies, data on ticket revenues and attendances for the Live Performance Industry was limited to that provided by the Survey participants. While national in reach, the coverage of this Survey excludes events in some regional venues, free performances, and also schools’ performances of the AMPAG companies. Small to medium companies and independent theatre are also under-represented as many of these companies either self-ticket or use ticketing service providers and venues not currently involved in the Survey. To capture these types of live performance events LPA and EY are producing a supplementary ticket attendance and revenue report for 2013 that will include data from the following organisations:

  • Australia Council for the Arts – Key Organisations (small to medium companies)
  • The Australian Performing Arts Centre Association (APACA) – regional and metropolitan venue members.

Moreover, attendances at festivals are under-reported in this Survey. First, some festivals maintain their own ticketing systems and many of these are not part of this Survey. The inclusion of ticketing data from Bluesfest, Adelaide Fringe and Fringe World for the first time this year addresses some under reporting in the festival categories. However, Tasmanian contributions to revenue and attendance are likely to be undervalued because growing festival events like MONA FOMA and Dark MOFO are self-ticketed and are not presently contributing data to the Survey. Second, for numerous festivals the Survey only reports paid tickets and does not include the substantial unpaid and/or unticketed components. The Contemporary Music category is subject to similar limitations; as pub and club venues that self-ticket, or use ticketing companies who are not part of the Survey are not included in the results. However, data from The Ticket Group helps to decrease the level of under-reporting, as this ticketing agency includes smaller performances at certain bars and hotels. Still, this Survey provides a conservative estimate of the total ticket revenues and attendances sourced from live performance events in Australia.

As part of our analysis, the 2013 data was compared against historical data sourced directly from Live Performance Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry in Australia 2006 - 2011 Reports. EY note that we did not revisit the data collection and allocation methodology used in 2006 and 2007 as the historical data used to prepare the reports in these years was not provided in a disaggregated format. As such, EY was unable to query the accuracy of the allocation of events in these years.

Therefore caution should be applied when comparing data from 2008 to 2013 with data from previous years as inconsistencies may exist in the data collection methodology between the surveys performed in these five years, and for previous surveys (where more detailed event specific information was not requested).

Changes in the 2013 Ticketing Survey compared to prior years

We have made the following changes to the Ticketing Survey in 2013:

  • The inclusion of data from FringeTIX, which provides ticketing services to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. For this Survey, FringeTIX provided data on the 2013 Adelaide Fringe, in the category of Festivals (Multi-Category).
  • The inclusion of data from Fringe World 2013. This Perth based Fringe Festival provided data in the category of Festivals (Multi-Category).
  • The inclusion of data from Bluesfest. Bluesfest provided ticketing information for the Bluesfest Festival in the category of Festivals (Single-Category) and Boomerang Festival in category of Festivals (Multi-Category), as well as touring shows in the category of Contemporary Music.
  • All venues previously ticketed by BOCS Ticketing WA for the Perth Theatre Trust are now ticketed by Ticketek. The Perth Theatre Trust venues are His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth Concert Hall, Subiaco Arts Centre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia and Albany Entertainment Centre.
  • SeatAdvisor Box Office (SABO), which was first included in 2012, did not provide data in 2013. In 2012, data provided by SABO related to comedy performances, mainly from the Sydney Comedy Festival, Comedy Store and Factory Theatre in Sydney. Much of this data was captured through the Ticketek data in 2013.

On a like for like basis excluding the impact of the above mentioned additions, the total number of tickets issued in 2013 was 17.27 million, which generated total revenue of $1.448 billion.

When comparing 2013 data with that from previous years, the following should be noted in addition to the above changes:

  • The Non-Classical Music category was renamed to ‘Contemporary Music’ in 2011. However, the scope of performances in this category remains the same as prior years.
  • The Melbourne Recital Centre and Foxtix (together with Moshtix) were new data providers in 2011. Melbourne Recital Centre provides ticketing services primarily in the categories of Classical Music and Opera while Foxtix operate primarily in the categories of Festivals (Single-Category) and Contemporary Music.
  • In 2009, the ‘Comedy’ and ‘Circus and Physical Theatre’ categories were introduced. As defined in Section 1.2 under our Approach, the Comedy category includes all comedy events such as stand up but does not include comedy plays, while the Circus and Physical Theatre includes Circus, Physical Theatre and Burlesque events. The introduction of these categories does not represent an extension of the scope of the Ticketing Survey, rather events which fall within these new categories would have been included in other categories in prior years.
  • The inclusion of data from Arts Projects Australia. Arts Projects Australia from 2009 onwards provided ticketing data for WOMADelaide, a multi-category festival in Adelaide previously not covered by this Survey. Also in 2009, data from The Arts Centre (Melbourne) was included for the first time, having previously been outsourced to Ticketmaster (and therefore included in Ticketmaster’s data).
Media Super

Supporting Live Performance

My staff aren’t surprised when seizing appropriate opportunities, I treat them to a little rendition of a song from Jesus Christ Superstar. While I could educate them and deliver the entire production from heart, verbatim, I’m usually encouraged to wind up somewhat earlier than the scripted curtain call.

I didn’t mind so much recently though, when immediately after my homage, a young colleague, who’d only recently joined us, knocked us all down with the most delicately beautiful performance of an aria and declared herself a classically-trained singer of very high calibre. It was breathtaking and amazing, but not completely unexpected. For you see, we not only work for our industries and our members’ careers and pursuits, but we are also of them. Our team comprise a veritable melting pot of performers, writers, aspiring producers, actors, musicians, industrial relations people and a number of other fields. All qualified and talented professionals in specialties and areas that we employ them for, they are more rounded than you might expect and that’s something we pride ourselves on.

At a time where the creative arts are facing government funding cuts and less solid support than ever before in this country, Media Super remains steadfastly committed to the people who entertain us with their talents and their charms, and to the businesses that employ them and foster this creativity. Over our 27-year history we have been a key part of Australia’s creative industries through sponsorship programs, employment and financial education support, and celebrating the excellence of performers all around the country.

This survey and findings provide us all with valuable data, information and trends. It gives us a snapshot of where patrons are spending money and provides the credible support for our industry’s lobbying for funding and support.

We are a proud and long-term partner of Live Performance Australia and the crucial work they do on behalf of our industry. The LPA is represented on our Board and brings expertise and support for all members in the super fund. If our national culture is to continue being both vibrant and celebrated for its quality productions, partnerships such as that between the LPA and Media Super are critical.

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