Arts and Culture Audience Outlook Monitor

Posted 21 May 2020

Arts and Culture Audience Outlook Monitor

The Australia Council is working with Patternmakers and WolfBrown to understand changes in behaviours and sentiments of arts-goers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to support decision-making and forward planning across the sector.

As changes occur, this tracking study has been designed to support important decision-making in the coming months about when arts communities can open their doors, announce up-coming programs and activities in spaces where people can gather and re-connect.

The baseline data for this tracking study was collected in a cross-sector collaborative survey process and has been divided into a number of stages with the first phase now available giving an outlined Snapshot into 159 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals.

Key findings from the first phase include:

  • Overwhelmingly, audiences plan to return to arts and culture events in future, with 85% planning to attend just as they did in the past (78%), or even more often (7%).
  • On average, 22% of audiences are comfortable attending as soon as restrictions are lifted. 67% will attend when they deem the risk of transmissions to be minimal, while 11% won’t be back until there is no risk at all.
  • However right now, there are mixed views about attending large venues, as there are with all kinds of public places. Most audiences are not comfortable attending performance venues seating large groups of 100 people (56%).
  • Three quarters of audiences (75%) are also participating in online arts and culture activities, like watching arts video content (52%), watching live-streamed events (42%), or doing online classes or tutorials (36%).
  • Online participation is also allowing audiences to discover new works. Confirming the audience development potential of this time, a sizeable proportion (29%) have discovered a new artist, artwork or performance online, or they know someone who has (13%).

The responses span a diverse range of event types and encompass people who attend all types of events. The large sample provides detailed insights about different art forms, types of events, demographic groups and parts of Australia.

Read more about the methodology and the types of events which are included.

To find out more information and how the results compare to other studies about response to the pandemic visit:

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