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Audience Outlook Monitor August 2023 NSW Snapshot

Key findings

Attendance rates in NSW have grown slightly. Eight in 10 NSW audience members say they attended at least one kind of cultural event in the fortnight surveyed (82%), slightly up from the national average (79%) and up from 79% in the last survey of October 2022.

However, major leaps in attendance appear unlikely, with the majority of NSW audiences expecting their attendance will stay the same over the next 12 months.

This positive participation rate only tells part of the story, with spending levels not growing alongside participation, suggesting audience members are choosing lower priced or free events. 

Economic conditions are limiting what NSW audiences can spend on events. Across Australia, younger audiences, families and older audiences are thinking and behaving very differently in 2023. 

  • Young people: Audiences under 35 are attending frequently, but spending the least. 
  • Families: Audiences aged 35-54 with children living at home were less likely to have attended a cultural activity in the last fortnight and are managing pressures on family budgets
  • Older audiences: Audiences over 55 are spending the most on cultural events right now, and their spending is growing.

Last-minute decision-making persists in NSW, with audiences having more choices, taking longer to decide due to their financial circumstances and prioritising other things. 

Amongst NSW audiences, attendance frequency is growing at performing arts events in August 2023, compared to October 2022. Seven in 10 (73%) attended at least once a month in August 2023, up from 56% in October 2022 and well above the national average (65%).

In NSW, frequency of attendance at museums and galleries has also increased significantly in August 2023, with 35% attending at least once a month, up from 22% in October 2022. This is slightly up from the national average (32%).

NSW audiences continue to engage online. Online content is helping audiences find out about events, discover new artists and participate in digital experiences.

Read the full NSW Audience 2023+ snapshot report 

Learn more about Audience Outlook Monitor Research

About Audience Outlook Monitor research:
Launched in May 2020, the Audience Outlook Monitor was established to track audience sentiment in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic by research provider Patternmakers. In 2023, it continues to provide insight into the top trends shaping audiences today, including the cost-of-living crisis, global uncertainty and the collective mood. The latest New South Wales (NSW) Snapshot Report outlines key findings from August 2023 from 2,560 audience members living in NSW. The main source of data featured in this report is the Audience Outlook Monitor, a cross-sector, collaborative survey involving around 100 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/departments-and-agencies/create-nsw/news/stories/aom-audience-2023-nsw-snapshot Audience Outlook Monitor August 2023 NSW Snapshot

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