Live performance industry makes strong contribution to the Australian economy

Music Festival CrowdAustralia’s live performance industry continues to make a strong contribution to the Australian economy with both revenue and attendances increasing between 2015 and 2016. Since 2008 revenue has increased by 35% and attendance has grown by 19%.

Live Performance Australia’s Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2016 is the most comprehensive survey of ticket sales for Australian live performance events and is conducted annually.

Revenue for the 2016 survey was $1.43 billion with 18.78 million tickets sold to live performance events. This was a 1.2% increase in revenue and 0.8% increase in attendances compared to 2015. Average ticket prices declined by 3% and on average, Australians spent $59 per person on live performance events.

LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said the survey results highlighted the critical importance of a more strategic policy approach from the Turnbull Government for the live performance industry. “These figures underscore the economic and cultural value of the live performance industry for millions of Australians. The need for increased investment in the performing arts has never been greater,” said Ms Richardson.

“The survey results also support recent customer spending data that shows more Australians are spending their hard earned cash on ‘meaningful experiences’ such as concert tickets and the theatre. Our research reaffirms the important contribution that live performance makes to the national culture and the creative economy.”

“We have access to a wide array of high-quality local and international performances, which the report shows Australians truly value and enjoy. However, if Australia is going to continue to compete globally, to satisfy both Australian audiences and attract international tourists, we need to ensure we invest more, not less, in creating local product that is world class.”

“Instead, the last few years have seen funding cuts, our small to medium sector massively impacted, and very little indication that Government is prepared to deliver on its vision for innovation and jobs growth in our sector. We strongly believe that the Government needs to step up and support greater investment in our industry which creates jobs, employs more than 34 000 people, generates significant economic activity and enriches the cultural lives of millions of Australians,“ Ms Richardson added.

Contemporary music continues to be the largest contributor commanding 30.8% of revenue and 30.1% of attendance. The 7.9% decline in revenue was much less than in 2015 (-21%) while attendances increased slightly by 1 percent with 5.7 million people attending live music events (excluding Festivals).

Overall, while revenue declined by 30% between 2013 and 2016, attendances declined by 9.7% for the same period. The 2016 figures show revenue drops have slowed.  Average ticket price has decreased by 11.4% from $96.38 in 2015 to $85.35 in 2016. Since 2013, the average ticket price has declined by 22.8% from a peak price of $110.50. Falling average ticket prices have contributed to declines in revenue.

The Festivals category reported a significant 25.2% decline in revenue while attendances fell by 48.2%. The sector peaked in 2014 posting $129.2m in revenue which fell by 38.2% 2014 to 2016. These declines were driven by cancellation of major national touring festivals Future Music Festival and Stereosonic in 2016. Contrary to revenue and attendance declines, the average ticket price increased by 6.7% ($85.35).

As per previous years, the report findings showed Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre to be the two largest contributors to the industry, generating 30.8% and 24.3% of revenue respectively, and a combined attendance rate of 47.7% (8.96m).

Comedy recorded its highest revenue and attendance since the category was identified separately in the survey report in 2009. Between 2009 and 2016 revenue has increased by 118% with 83.8% growth in attendances. In 2016 Comedy experienced the highest growth in revenue and attendance amongst all the categories with significant revenue growth of 57.3% ($86.4m) and 42% growth in attendance (1.4m). The 9% growth in average ticket price contributed to revenue growth.

To access the Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2016 as an interactive web-based document, visit: For more information about Live Performance Australia, visit: for details.