Australian Live Music Scene Declines


Melbourne, Australia – July 31, 2013 – Live Performance Australia [LPA], the peak body for Australia’s live performance industry-  and presenter of the Helpmann Awards for Live Performance – has released its annual Ticket Attendance & Revenue Survey 2012, which shows the sector remains relatively stable, generating $1.2 billion in revenue, down from $1.30 billion in 2011.

The survey recorded 16,273,730 tickets for Live Entertainment events in Australia in 2012.

Contemporary Music and Musical Theatre remain the two largest sectors, generating 40% and 16.9% of revenue respectively. Both sectors experienced declines in revenue and attendance, but together still account for 56.9% of gross revenue and 47.4% of total attendance.

Genres reporting strongest growth in 2012 are Festivals, Theatre and Classical Music which contradicts some pundits who had argued that there was a glut of music festivals in Australia and the audience could not be sustained.

• In the Multi-Festival category (festivals with events in two or more categories e.g. Womad, Brisbane Festival), the increase in revenue is largely explained by the growth in average ticket price (24.4% increase in 2012). Single category Festivals (e.g. Big Day Out, Bluesfest) saw a slight 2% increase in revenue, a significant 18.7% increase in attendance, reflecting a strong year for music festivals, and a 7.4% decline in average ticket price.

Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia (LPA), Evelyn Richardson, said, “This year’s Survey shows the industry is stable with only a slight decline in revenue and attendance.”

Overall revenue for the Live Entertainment Industry declined when compared to 2011, from $1.3 billion, to $1.2 billion – a drop of 8%. This decline was largely mirrored by a 6.2% decrease in overall attendance, from 17.3 million tickets in 2011 to 16.2 million in 2012. This decline in revenue reflects a decline in attendance and a marginal fall in the average ticket price.

The results also show that Victoria and New South Wales command a larger share of both revenue and attendances compared to their share of the population. However, overall, state based breakdown shows declines in Victoria and New South Wales but revenue and attendance increases in Queensland.

The Helpmann Awards

Meanwhile, the 2013 Helpmann Awards for Australian Live Entertainment were announced in Sydney on Monday night with some significant winners of interest to readers:

Best International Contemporary Concert:

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Wrecking Ball Tour

Best Cabaret Performer: Robyn Archer

Best Australian Contemporary Concert: Neil Finn & Paul Kelly

Best Contemporary Music Festival: 24th Annual Bluesfest, Byron Bay



Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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