Melbourne Shines In Live Performance Australia Survey

Melbourne has proven itself – again – to be the live music capital of Australia, and Victoria remains a strong state for performances.

In the 9thTicket Attendance And Revenue Survey, released this morning by the Live Performance Australia association, Victoria is the only state to post significant growth in the Contemporary Music category in the last 12 months in both revenue and attendance.


In terms of revenue, Victoria grew 3.5% to a total of $157.5 million. This gave it a 32.7% share of the national market for Contemporary Music. NSW, with a larger population, dropped in revenue by 1.2% to $166.5 million and a share of 34.5%. All the other states dropped also, except for ACT and Tasmania which only grew by 1.4% and 0.3% respectively.


In terms of attendance in the Contemporary Music category, Victoria was triumphant yet again. NSW dropped by 0.1%, selling 1.9 million tickets through the past 12 months to a national market share of 35.8%. Victoria on the other hand grew by 2.6% to selling 1.8 million tickets, with a 32.9% share. All the other states dropped in attendance; the ACT rose by 0.3%.


Evelyn Richardson, CEO of Live Performance Australia, speaking to beat.com.au, attributed the rise to the quality of venues in Melbourne. She pointed out, “Melbourne as a city has been fortunate, not just with live music venues but also music theatre venues compared to other cities.” The re-opening of Hamer Hall, which stages a wide range of music styles, was an important step, she said.


Overall, the Australian live performance sector – which the survey includes classical, opera, music theatre, dance, ballet and festivals – took a slight battering due to the economy. Its revenue dropped by 8% to $1.2 billion, from $1.3 billion in 2011. This was due to a 6.2% drop in attendance from 17.3 million to 16.2 million as well as a drop in ticket prices as promoters tried to keep these down. Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre continued to be the two largest sectors, generating 40% and 16.9% of revenue respectively. Both dipped in revenue and attendance, they still account for 56.9% of gross revenue and 47.4% of total attendance.


Contemporary Music performances around Australia grossed revenues of $482.1 million and with a total audience pull of 5,484,257.

Music festivals together grossed $98.3 million (8.2% share), up 2% share from 2011, while total attendance was up 18.7%. Average ticket prices fell by 7.4% from $138.97 in 2011 to $128.71. As far as music festivals went, Victoria strayed behind NSW. It dropped by 7.1% in revenue to $14.1 million which represented a 14.4% of the national share. NSW’s music festivals also dropped in revenue by 3.4% to $46.8 million but had a 47.7% share. In terms of attendance, attendance at Victoria’s music festivals dropped by 6.9% to 178,523 to a 15.3% share. NSW, however, rose by 2.4% to drawing a total of 501,130 people, making up 42.9% share.