Live Performance Australia (LPA) have released the findings of their Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey for 2014. This is the 11th annual Survey presented by LPA. The Survey is now the principal source of reliable industry statistics for the Australian Live Performance Industry, and represents the most comprehensive available survey of ticket sales for Australian Live Performance events.
The Hayes Theatre in Sydney was a new inclusion for the 2014 survey, but venues such as Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel were not included.
Ticket Revenue and Attendance Overview
Consumer confidence measures the level of economic optimism that consumers have and as such, is an indicator of their willingness to spend. Overall, consumer confidence fell throughout 2014, ending the year at its lowest levels since 2011. Despite the lower consumer confidence, the arts and recreation industry recorded positive productivity growth in 2013-14, outperforming other market sector industries such as retail trade and accommodation and food services.
The Musical Theatre category experienced strong growth between 2013 and 2014, which reflects the general volatility in the number of musical theatre productions presented nationally in any given year. There were a significant number of high calibre performances that drew large audiences, including The Lion King, Les Misérables, Grease, Wicked, Strictly Ballroom and The Rocky Horror Show. The world premiere season of King Kong also finished its run in early 2014, but with a relatively small number of shows occurring in the current survey period.
Gross revenue rose by 65.6% from $193.39 million in 2013 to $320.34 million in 2014. Total attendance increased by 52.6%, whilst the increase in the average ticket price was more modest at 4.7%.
This makes 2014 the strongest year for Musical Theatre in terms of gross revenue since the survey began, although attendances were still slightly below those experienced in 2007.
New South Wales experienced particularly strong growth, resulting in a significant gain in industry share. This was in large part due to successful runs of The Lion King and Strictly Ballroom in Sydney. Although industry share only increased slightly in Victoria, that state also experienced overall growth in both revenue and attendances in 2014. Both The Lion King and Strictly Ballroom have 2015 seasons in Melbourne.
Musical Theatre tickets sold during the survey period: 3.18m (out of 18.53m overall)
NSW and Victoria both had 37.5% of the revenue share, with attendance being 35.5% in NSW and 37.8% in Victoria.
The Theatre category experienced declines in revenue and attendance in 2014, in contrast to the strong gains achieved in 2013. Gross revenue fell from $119.65 million to $99.71 million, or by 16.7%. Total attendances decreased by 18.3%, while the average ticket price increased slightly from $72.88 to $73.83.
The Australian Major Performing Arts Group, or AMPAG, is the umbrella group for Australia’s major performing arts companies. As with previous years, performances through the AMPAG companies generated a large share of ticket sales and revenue.
In 2014, the AMPAG companies staged fewer theatre performances compared to 2013, which helps to explain the fall in revenue and attendance. Major companies within AMPAG include Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company. Major performances by these companies included Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac and Noises Off by Sydney Theatre Company and The Speechmaker, Pennsylvania Avenue and Private Lives by Melbourne Theatre Company.
Commercial theatre tours also experienced declines in 2014 with fewer performances than in 2013. Major commercial performances included national tours of Mrs Browns Boys, The Last Confession and Wogboys. A Murder is Announced also continued its national tour, which was performed over two calendar years. All of these major performances were staged in Western Australia in 2014, which helps to explain the strong growth in that state of 61% in revenue and 35% in attendance.
The Circus and Physical Theatre category experienced the largest decline in both revenue and attendances. The decline was in part due to the reduction in the number of Cirque du Soleil performances, but was further exacerbated by a number of other major performances not returning in 2014 including Slava’s Snowshow and Empire.
To see the full report go to: http://reports.liveperformance.com.au/ticket-survey-2014/