LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report 2018

Photo: The Book of Mormon, The Gordon Frost Organisation, Jeff Busby


Live Performance Australia (LPA) takes great pleasure in presenting our Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report for 2018 ("Report").

This is our 15th annual Report. It is the principal source of reliable industry statistics for the Australian live performance industry, and represents the most comprehensive information on annual ticket sales for Australian live performance events available. As the leading source for industry results and trends, the Report is drawn upon extensively by the industry, government, media and business.

The 2018 Report shows that the live performance industry continues to contribute significantly to our economy and cultural ecology. In 2018, over 26 million tickets were issued to live performance events, generating total ticket sales revenue of almost $2.2 billion. That’s more than the combined attendances at Australian Football, Rugby League, Cricket, Soccer, Basketball, Rugby Union, Tennis, Netball and Baseball (Australian Sporting Attendances 2018, Stadiums Australia).

The live performance industry had a record-breaking year in 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, ticket sales revenue increased by 14.8% and attendance increased by 14.1%. Conversely, the different genre categories experienced varying shifts in growth and decline. This trend is consistent with previous years and is primarily due to the impact of major tours or events, particularly international tours, in the market in any given year.

We encourage you to explore this digital report in depth. The data and commentary is broken down by both state and genre categories, providing a detailed analysis of the diverse and dynamic Australian live performance market. Genre categories include ballet and dance, children’s/family events, circus and physical theatre, classical music, comedy, contemporary music, festivals (multi-category), festivals (contemporary music), musical theatre, opera, special events, and theatre.

The development of LPA’s research reports, integral to promoting the value and importance of our industry, is made possible by the provision of data by our data participants, including ticketing companies, self-ticketing venues, event promoters and the Australia Council for the Arts on behalf of the Major Performing Arts companies. The generous cooperation and effort of all data participants is, as always, greatly appreciated.

We also thank our Report Consultants, EY, for their professional services in compiling and analysing the ticket data, and our Web Designers, Paoli Smith, for their preparation of the Digital Report. We hope you find the digital format informative and intuitive, allowing ease of comparison with previous year’s data and tracking of trends.

Evelyn Richardson
Evelyn Richardson
Chief Executive
Live Performance Australia

November 2019

Download the Report

LPA Key Findings Report 2018 (PDF) LPA Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report 2018 (PDF)

Photo: Chinese New Year Concert, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Raschella

Ticket Revenue and Attendance Overview

Industry growth

  • In 2018 (calendar year), the Australian live performance industry generated total ticket sales revenue of almost $2.2b, an increase of 14.8% from 2017, when ticket sales totalled $1.88b. This increase in revenue was a result of a 4.7% increase in the total number of paid tickets in 2018, coupled with an increase in the average ticket price by 9.3% from $90.59 to $99.03.
  • Approximately 26.3m tickets were issued in 2018, representing an increase of 14.1% from 2017, when 23.0m tickets were issued. Of 26.3m total tickets, the number of paid tickets issued was 21.8m (an increase from 20.8m tickets sold in 2017). The remaining 4.4m tickets issued in 2018 were complimentary, sponsor allocated and zero priced tickets.
  • In 2018, the number of tickets issued, revenue generated and the average ticket price ($99.03) for live performance events was the highest recorded since LPA began publishing data in 2004. This was primarily driven by major international tours in the Contemporary Music category during the period, including Pink, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars; musicals such as The Book of Mormon, Aladdin and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and by festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and Adelaide Fringe.

Drivers of growth

  • New South Wales (NSW) generated the highest share of national live performance revenue (34.9%) and attendance (31.3%) in 2018, with Victoria being the second largest contributor in revenue (32.3%) and in attendance (30.5%). Combined, NSW and Victoria generated approximately 67.2% of Australia’s live performance revenue and 61.8% of attendance in 2018.
  • NSW experienced the greatest growth in revenue (22.4%), closely followed by Queensland (20.2%). The highest growth in attendance was witnessed in Tasmania (67.1%), followed by Queensland (20.1%) and NSW (19.4%).
  • Contemporary Music remains the largest category in the industry in 2018, representing a market share of 50.5% in revenue and 38.4% in attendance.
  • Revenue growth in Special Events (337.9%), Comedy (72.5%), Contemporary Music (32.2%) and Festivals (Multi-Category) (26.2%) categories has driven growth in the live performance industry in 2018 as compared to 2017. This growth was partially offset by revenue declines in Circus and Physical Theatre (79.9%) and Musical Theatre (4.0%).

Photo: Giselle, The Australian Ballet, Jeff Busby