Audience Outlook Monitor results

Results from Phase 2 of the Audience Outlook Monitor are now available.

Between May and July, the Audience Outlook Monitor shows an increase in the proportion of past attendees who are ready to attend an arts and cultural event, as soon as permitted, from 22% to 28% nationally.

In New South Wales (NSW), it has increased slightly (25% up from 22%), but not to the extent seen elsewhere.

The proportion is highest in the Northern Territory (NT) (39%, stable since May), Queensland (QLD) (33%, up from 25%), South Australia (SA) (33%, up from 24%), Tasmania (TAS) (34%, up from 17%) and Western Australia (WA) (37%, up from 25%), where there were no recent cases of community transmission at the time of data collection.

This proportion is lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) (19%) and Victoria (VIC) (20%), where audiences are currently concerned about community transmission.

While audiences have largely returned to eating at restaurants (68% nationally have done this, 70% in NSW), smaller numbers (24%) have attended a cultural event of any kind in the past fortnight, noting that many venues and facilities remain closed, at present.

Most commonly, attendees are returning to museums and galleries (12% nationally, 15% in NSW), and cinemas (9% nationally and 8% in NSW), which were the main types of facilities open at the time of data collection.

Rates of attendance at performances (3% nationally and 2% in NSW), festivals (2% both nationally and in NSW) and workshops (4% nationally and 3% in NSW) are lower at the current time, although with more of these events coming on sale, larger numbers are making plans to attend in future (14%, 6% and 8% respectively).

Across Australia, more past attendees had made plans to attend an event of some kind (42%, up from 14% in May 2020). The rate in NSW is 39%, with the rate highest in NT (66%) and lowest in VIC (34%).

Access the second Snapshot Report to read the national headlines.

Access the first Snapshot Report.

Use the dashboard to get results for your artform and region

Survey data from over 39,000 (23,730 from Phase 1 and 15,636 Phase 2) Australian respondents has been aggregated in a freely available dashboard, to assist artists and cultural organisations of all kinds to understand how audiences feel about attending events again.

Baseline data was collected in a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving 159 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals. These organisations simultaneously sent a survey to a random sample of audience members who had attended a cultural event since January 2018. Read more about the methodology and the types of events that are included.

By aggregating the data from 159 participating organisations, this study provides a detailed resource with insights about all different artforms, types of events and demographic groups in all parts of Australia. No individual respondents or organisations are identified.

Access the dashboard by following the link below and entering the login details provided. For guidance on how to use the dashboard, visit the Australian homepage for the dashboard, where you can watch a tour or download a guide.

Access the Dashboard
Password: Australia
Please share your reflections and insights using the hashtag #audienceoutlookmonitor

New South Wales Snapshot Summary Report: July 2020 (Phase 2)

The Phase 2 findings of the Audience Outlook Monitor in New South Wales (NSW) demonstrate a slightly more optimistic outlook, compared to findings in Phase 1. A higher proportion of audiences say they would be comfortable to attend most types of cultural venues, but particularly museums and galleries (93%, up from 88%), community art spaces (85%, up from 79%) and outdoor events (64%, up from 58%).

However, there remains a level of caution following cases of community transmission in the state and nearby in Victoria (VIC) at the time of data collection (July 2020). Qualitative feedback shows that safety measures implemented by cultural venues are helping NSW audiences feel safe, particularly in the context of uncertainty about the virus.

When ranking options for attending a cultural event today, the largest proportion (40%) of NSW audiences selected digital programs as their first preference right now. However, many others would also attend outdoor events, or indoor venues with fixed seating, if adequate social distancing measures were enforced. NSW audiences are among the most highly engaged with online arts and culture experiences and are more likely to be engaging online more frequently than in May 2020. NSW audiences are also more likely to be paying for online experiences now (43%) than in May (38%), and a greater proportion in NSW are doing so than audiences nationally (36%), indicating an increasingly strong market for digital offerings.

Download the second Snapshot Report to read the NSW headlines, or download the accessible version.

Download the first NSW Snapshot Report.

About the Audience Outlook Monitor

The results now available represent the first and second phases of a three-phase study that will track how audiences feel about returning to events in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was collected between 6 and 14 May 2020, forming a baseline against which changes can be tracked. A second phase of data collection was undertaken in July 2020.

Data will be collected from audiences again September 2020, as restrictions are lifted on the number of people allowed to gather for cultural events.

Create NSW is collaborating with research agencies Patternmakers (Sydney) and WolfBrown (USA) and five other government agencies across Australia to produce this resource. The dashboard is freely accessible and designed to help artists and cultural organisations of all kinds to make the best possible decisions about re-opening.

How to find out more

More Snapshot Reports, Fact Sheets and resources will be made available in the coming weeks. To receive these directly into your inbox, as soon as they are available, you can opt in to receive Audience Outlook Monitor news straight from the researchers.

If you have a question, or an idea for using this data, please contact Patternmakers at

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