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Live Performance industry breaks all records through 2017

Live Performance industry breaks all records through 2017
October 25, 2018

Live Performance Australia has reported that over 23 million Australians attended live events in 2017, driving over $1.88 billion in ticket sales – representing a 23% growth in attendance and 32% growth in revenue nationally from 2016.

Releasing LPA’s 2017 Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report today, Evelyn Richardson, Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia (LPA), stated “the live performance industry had a record-breaking year in 2017.

“While contemporary music recorded its highest levels of ticket sales and revenue ($826 million) and attendance (8.5 million), circus and physical theatre and contemporary music festivals also recorded strong growth.

“Not only do the overall numbers show double-digit growth, it’s great to see revenue and attendance growth in all Australian states and territories.

“For the first time, Victoria takes the mantle of having the largest industry share for ticket sales revenue and attendance. Record revenue of $639 million (up 45%) and attendances of 7.4 million (up 35%) were driven by growth in major contemporary music concerts, musicals, circus and physical theatre and theatre.

Queensland experienced the largest revenue growth (up 46%) in Australia with $263.9 million in ticket revenue and the third highest growth in attendances at 3.2 million (up 26%). This significant growth was driven by major contemporary music concerts and major musicals.

The highest growth in attendance was seen in Tasmania (84%) followed by Victoria (35%) and Queensland (26%).

Victoria strongly outperformed NSW in the musical theatre category. Victoria generated close to twice the musical theatre revenue of NSW in 2017 posting $206 million vs $117 million. More than 1.9 million people in Victoria attended a musical theatre show compared with 1.2 million in NSW. Queensland also saw significant growth in revenue (up 34%) and attendance (up 32%) in musical theatre.

Other key results from the Report show that:

• Between 2008 and 2017 industry revenue has grown by 77% while attendance has grown by 28% since 2013.
• Between 2016 and 2017, the average ticket price grew 8% to $90.59, not quite reaching the highest average ticket price of $92.16 recorded in 2013. 
• Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre continue to command the largest market share. Combined they represent 66% of industry revenue and 54% of attendance.
• Categories which experienced the largest growth in revenue and attendance between 2016 and 2017 were Contemporary Music, Circus/Physical Theatre and Festivals (contemporary music). This growth was largely driven by international acts touring Australia.
 
Report highlights by State.
 
NSW
• In 2017, NSW recorded $615.8 million in ticket revenue and 6.9 million attendances 
• Between 2016 and 2017, ticket revenue grew by 16.2% and attendance grew by 13.5%
• NSW holds the second largest share of the industry for both ticket revenue and attendance
• On average, each person in NSW spent $77.81 on tickets to see live events
• The most well attended events were Contemporary Music, Musical Theatre and Theatre
• The events that generated the most revenue were Contemporary Music, Musial Theatre and Festivals (Contemporary Music) 
 
Victoria
• Between 2016 and 2017, revenue grew by 45.3% to $639.9 million and attendances grew by 35.6% to 7.4 million 
• Victoria holds the largest share of the industry for both ticket revenue and attendance
• On average, every Victorian spent $100.20 on tickets to see live events
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Contemporary Music, Musical Theatre and Comedy
• The events that generated the most revenue were Contemporary Music, Musial Theatre and Circus & Physical Theatre
 
Queensland
• In 2017, Queensland recorded $263.9 million in ticket revenue. It experienced the largest revenue growth in Australia of 46.4% between 2016 and 2017 
• In 2017, Queensland recorded 3.2 million attendances, which was 26.5% higher than the attendances recorded in 2016
• On average, every Queenslander spent $53.15 on tickets to see live events
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Contemporary Music, Musical Theatre and Children’s/Family
• The events that generated the most revenue were Contemporary Music, Musical Theatre and Circus & Physical Theatre
 
Western Australia
• Between 2016 and 2017, revenue grew by 33.1% to $196.7 million and attendances grew by 11.5% to 2.6 million 
• On average, every Western Australian spent $113.81 on tickets to see live events, which is the highest spend per capita in Australia 
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Contemporary Music, Festivals (Multi-category) and Circus and Physical Theatre
• The events that generated the most revenue were Contemporary Music, Circus & Physical Theatre, and Musical Theatre  
 

South Australia
• In 2017, South Australia recorded $123.5 million in ticket revenue and 2.1 million attendances 
• Between 2016 and 2017, ticket revenue grew by 31% and attendance grew by 16.9%
• On average, every South Australian spent $47.79 on tickets to see live events
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Festivals (multi-category), Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre 
• The events that generated the most revenues were Contemporary Music, Festivals (multi-category) and Musical Theatre 
 
Tasmania 
• Between 2016 and 2017, Tasmania recorded the largest attendance growth across Australia. Attendance grew by 84.3% to almost 442,000 
• In 2017, Tasmania generated $16.2 million in ticket revenue, which was 9.9% higher compared to 2016 
• On average, every Tasmanian spent $65.68 on tickets to see live events
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Festivals (multi-category), Contemporary Music and Classical Music 
• The events that generated the most revenues were Contemporary Music, Festivals (multi-category) and Festivals (contemporary music)
 
Australian Capital Territory

• In 2017, the ACT recorded $24.8 million in ticket revenue. It experienced 26.7% revenue growth between 2016 and 2017 
• In 2017, the ACT recorded over 360,000 attendances, which was 15% higher than the attendances recorded in 2016
• On average, every ACT ticket buyer spent $47.26 on tickets to see live events 
• The most popular events in terms of attendance were Contemporary Music, Children’s/Family and Festivals (contemporary music)
• The events that generated the most revenues were Contemporary Music, Festivals (contemporary music) and Musical Theatre 
 
Northern Territory 

• In 2017, the NT recorded $3.4 million in ticket revenue. It experienced 6.6% revenue growth between 2016 and 2017 
• In 2017, the NT recorded almost 67,000 attendances, which was 2% higher than the attendances recorded in 2016
• The most events that generated the most revenue and attendances were Contemporary Music, Comedy and Children’s/Family 
 
Report highlights by genre 
 
Ballet and Dance 
• The Ballet and Dance category recorded $62.3 million in ticket sales revenues, increasing by 3.8%
• Attendance experienced a slight decline of 0.6% from 815,458 in 2016 to 810,483 in 2017
• In 2017, the Ballet and Dance category achieved its highest average ticket price of $83.57, increasing by 3.6% 
• NSW and Victoria were the major markets in which ticket sales and attendances were generated from ballet and dance productions 
• Victoria and the NT were the only state/territory in which growth was recorded for both revenue and attendance
 

Children’s/Family 
• In 2017, the Children’s/Family events category generated $51.3 million in ticket sales and 1.3 million attendances. 
• Compared to 2016, this category experienced a decline of 5.5% in revenue and 5.1% in attendance. 
• The ACT recorded the largest growth in this category – revenue grew by 46.7% and attendance grew by 64.8%
• The average ticket price declined slightly by 1.2% to $42.35. This is slightly lower than the highest average ticket price of $43.87 recorded in 2011
 
Circus & Physical Theatre
• In 2017, the Circus & Physical Theatre category recorded $116.5 million in ticket sales and 1.2 million in attendance
• This category experienced the second highest growth in ticket sales (58.7%) and attendance (38.9%) between 2016 and 2017 and is the third largest contributor to the industry in terms of revenue and attendance
• This category also experienced growth in average ticket price, increasing by 12.9% to $109.04
• Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all experienced growth in revenue and attendance
• Victoria, Western Australia and NSW were the major markets in which ticket sales and attendances were generated from circus and physical theatre
 
Classical Music
• The Classical Music category recorded $77.9 million in ticket sales revenues, increasing by 1.5% in 2017
• Attendance experienced an increase of 8.1% from 1.2 million in 2016 to 1.3 million in 2017
• The Northern Territory experienced the largest growth in both revenue and attendance, with growth also recorded in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland 
• The average ticket price declined slightly from $78.43 in 2016 to $77.12 in 2017
 
Comedy
• In 2017, the Comedy category recorded $72.3 million in ticket sales and 1.2 million in attendance. 
• These results are 16.3% and 12.1% respectively lower than those recorded in 2016, the year in which the Comedy category recorded its highest levels of revenue and attendance 
• Tasmania was the only state in which growth was recorded for both revenue and attendance
• Victoria was the largest market in which ticket sales and attendances were generated from Comedy events 
• In 2017, the average ticket price to a comedy event was $62.32 which is 4.9% lower than in 2016
 
Contemporary Music
• In 2017, the Contemporary Music category recorded its highest levels of ticket sales revenue ($826.0 million) and attendance (8.5 million)
• There was 87.7% growth in revenue and 49.6% growth in attendance between 2016 and 2017 
• All states and territories experienced growth in both revenue and attendance 
• The Contemporary Music category holds the largest market share of the industry, contributing 43.8% of revenue and 36.8% of attendances in 2017
• In 2017, the average ticket price to a Contemporary Music event was $105.73 which is 23.9% higher than in 2016
 
Festivals (multi-category)
• In 2017, 1.9 million people attended Festivals (multi-category) events, generating $54.6 million from ticket sales
• While attendance figures increased by 20.5% between 2016 and 2017, revenue declined by 3.5% 
• South Australia is the largest contributor to the Festivals (multi-category) category, contributing 44.1% of revenue and 49.3% of attendance. Western Australia is the second largest contributor to this category. 
• NSW, Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the only jurisdictions that experienced growth in both revenue and attendance between 2016 and 2017. However, the largest growth in revenue was experienced in New South Wales (107.4%) and in attendance in Tasmania (179.9%)
• In 2017, the average ticket price from Festivals (multi-category) events declined 7.5% to $36.62 
 

Festivals (contemporary music)
• In 2017, almost 853,000 people attended Festivals (contemporary music) events, generating $100.7 million from ticket sales
• Ticket sales revenue increased by 26% and attendance increased by 26.7% between 2016 and 2017
• The average ticket price also increased slightly (0.9%) to $126.68
• Tasmania and the ACT experienced the largest growth in revenue and attendance between 2016 and 2017. Queensland and New South Wales also experienced growth in revenue and attendance
• New South Wales was the key market in which ticket sales and attendance were generated from Festival (contemporary music) events
 
Musical Theatre
• The Musical Theatre category recorded $416.8 million in ticket sales revenue, increasing by 19.9%
• Attendance also experienced growth, increasing by 22.6% from almost 3.3 million in 2016 to over 4 million in 2017
• The Musical Theatre category is the second largest industry contributor to revenue and attendances
• Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and Northern Territory all experienced growth in revenue and attendance between 2016 and 2017
• Victoria was the key market in which revenue and attendance were generated by Musical Theatre events
• In 2017, the average ticket price was $109.66, which declined slightly by 1.4% from $111.21 in 2016 
 
Opera
• In 2017, almost 370,000 people attended Opera events, generating $36.3 million from ticket sales
• The Opera category experienced a decline in ticket sales of 21.4% and in attendance by 9.5% between 2016 and 2017 
• New South Wales was the key market in which revenue and attendance were generated by Opera events
• Queensland was the only state/territory that experienced growth in both revenue (2.1%) and attendance (31.3%) between 2016 and 2017 
• In 2017, the average ticket price declined by 20.8% to $115.42
 
Special Events
• In 2017, almost 137,000 people attended Special Events, generating $5 million from ticket sales
• This category experienced a decline of 82.8% in revenue and 26.1% in attendances. This category is highly variable from year to year, as it depends upon whether events that cannot be classified into other categories take place
• In addition, in 2017, the average ticket price declined by 70.5% to $50.43
 
Theatre 

• In 2017, 1.5 million people attended Theatre events, increasing by 7.9% compared to the previous year
• The Theatre category generated $64.2 million in ticket sales, which was 19.3% lower than the previous year 
• New South Wales and Victoria were the largest contributors to revenues and attendances
• Victoria was the only jurisdiction to record growth in both revenue and attendance between 2016 and 2017 
• Across all genres, Theatre was the fourth most attended category of events in Australia 
• In 2017, the average ticket price declined by 26% to $49.24

Produced annually since 2004, the Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report is the most comprehensive and reliable survey of ticket sales and attendance for Australian live performance events.

Click here for more information on the 2017 Ticket Attendance and Revenue Report.

Images (from top): xcelerate Sydney, Opera Australia's My Fair Lady, the West Australia Symphony Orchestra and Bluesfest. 

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