Latest News

Back to Latest News back


85% of patrons look to return to arts and culture events, but not yet

85% of patrons look to return to arts and culture events, but not yet
May 18, 2020

85% of audiences plan to return to arts and cultural events in the future, with 78% planning to attend just as they did in the past and 7% even more often, according to a new research of how Australian audiences are looking beyond the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, only 22% of audiences are comfortable attending events as soon as restrictions are lifted with almost three quarters of Australians (67%) saying they will attend when they deem the risk of transmission to be minimal. 11% won’t be back until there is no risk at all.

The Audience Outlook Monitor research is being delivered in Australia in an unprecedented coming together of research agencies Patternmakers (Sydney) and WolfBrown (USA) in collaboration with six government agencies: the Australia Council for the Arts; Creative Victoria; Create NSW; Arts Queensland; Department of Premier and Cabinet (South Australia) and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (Western Australia).

Over 23,000 respondents from 159 organisations contributed to the aggregated results that are freely available in an accessible dashboard to assist artists and cultural organisations of all kinds in understanding how audiences feel about attending events again.

Baseline data was collected in May 2020 in a cross-sector collaborative survey involving museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals, from the country’s largest companies to micro ones in regional Australia.

These organisations simultaneously sent a survey to a random sample of their audiences, who had attended a cultural event, such as a concert, exhibition, festival, author talk or art workshop since January 2018.

The results show that the pandemic will affect who comes back when, and the size of events and the type of interactions with which audiences feel comfortable. With respect to artistic content, the vast majority agree they will be most interested in the same kinds of events they used to attend (93%).

Commenting on the findings, Australia Council Chief Executive, Adrian Collette stated “creativity will be vital to our national recovery as we seek to bring life back into our cities and regions. This research provides valuable and promising insights into the future of the cultural and creative sector, while highlighting the initial challenges in encouraging audiences to return to live experiences.

It will be cultural experiences that will have people hitting the road for domestic tourism, and the shared experiences of live performances and public events that will draw us back into our urban and regional centres and their restaurants, bars and cafes. This will play a critical role in boosting consumer confidence overall.”

The Audience Outlook Monitor will collect data again in July and September, to track how audience sentiment changes as conditions change, and people are allowed to resume gathering in larger groups.

Tandi Palmer Williams, Managing Director of research agency Patternmakers adds “by capturing this level of detail about changing attitudes, we can provide artists and cultural organisations with timely information to plan ahead and make the best possible decisions about re-opening.”

For more information about the study, and to access the Snapshot Report, visit the Audience Outlook Monitor website at

Related Articles

11th May 2020 - Live Nation says no return to ‘full scale’ concerts until 2021 as it looks to drive-in events

5th May 2020 - Live Performance Australia slams NSW Government’s lack of support for cultural sector in crisis during Coronavirus crisis

17th April 2020 - Vivaticket celebrates 2019 achievements and strives for continued success

4th April 2020 - LPA believes funding still not enough to prevent decimation of live performance industry

3rd April 2020 - Latest Australia Council funding announcements sees key organisations overlooked

1st April 2020 - Sydney Opera House takes performances online during Coronavirus lockdown

30th March 2020 - TEG survey suggests most Australians expect ‘normal life’ to resume within six months

23rd March 2020 - LPA seeks targeted financial stimulus for live performance industry

19th March 2020 - PAC Australia highlight Coronavirus threat to ongoing viability of performing arts centres

18th March 2020 - Perth Festival supports Live Performance Australia’s call for immediate economic stimulus

13th March 2020 - Live Performance Australia calls for urgent government action to protect $2.5 billion industry

2nd March 2020 - Australia Council releases resource to ‘future-proof’ arts organisations

19th February 2020 - Alice Nash appointed as the Australia Council Executive Director of Arts Investment

16th January 2020 - Health and wellbeing feature in latest Australia Council grants

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology


ProSlide Technology

ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness


Pricemark Pty Ltd

Pricemark supplies a wide range of custom branded membership & RFID access products for the Health & Leisure Industry. 

read more




ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation



Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business