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New Report Claims Concert Ticket Prices Are Holding Back Live Music Attendance

15 November 2022 | 12:14 pm | Mary Varvaris

According to a new Audience Outlook Monitor report, financial barriers are holding back live music fans from attendings gigs.

(Pic by Neal Walters)

A new report from Audience Outlook Monitor collected in October 2022 from 5,438 punters has found several interesting data points from Aussies surveyed. 

According to the report, financial reasons are now the #1 barrier to attendance, which makes sense when you consider that we're living through a cost-of-living crisis where petrol has become unaffordable, groceries are more expensive than ever, and bills and rent keep going up. In contrast, wages haven't meaningfully risen to combat the price hikes in our day-to-day lives. 24% of people are prioritising other things at the moment.

71% of people surveyed answered that they're "ready to attend gigs now", up from 65% in August 2022, the highest since the pandemic began. However, full recovery for the live events sectors remains way off, as 44% of attendees are still going to shows a lot less than they used to pre-pandemic. 

51% of punters plan on attending more shows next year, while 43% expect their attendance to stay the same. Many people enjoy more choice, buzz gigs, and brand-new events - 73% are attracted to fun, uplifting performing arts and 42% are drawn to new experiences that take them out of their comfort zone. 58% of people want to attend events they've never been to before - this is higher for people in the 16-35 age groups (74%). 

Meanwhile, some people (32%) believe that a lack of available appealing choices prevents them from attending events - shows not stopping in regional areas, or the capital cities of Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, and Darwin plays a part. 

Since August 2022, the financial reasons barrier to attending events has risen from 24% to 40%. This increase has overtaken the previous #1 concern of COVID-19 as the primary concern to attendance - 38% named the virus a barrier in October, compared to 46% in August. 

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Due to COVID-19 and corresponding stay-at-home rules for two years, 1 in 5 people (19%) report gig-going lethargy - exhaustion or "re-entry" anxiety. 

Last week, Lorde provided a "five-minute explainer" on the live entertainment industry. She wrote, "things are at an almost unprecedented level of difficulty" and "touring has become a demented struggle to break even or face debt".