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Audience Outlook Monitor

The Audience Outlook Monitor is an international study tracking how audiences feel about attending arts and culture events. The research provides insight into the trends shaping audiences today, including the cost-of-living crisis, global uncertainty and the collective mood. 

The research has been conducted annually since 2020. The data is a valuable resources for indepdent practitioners, organisations, business and researchers to support audience engagement activities and plans.


Key findings 

Queensland report – August 2023

This current Queensland Snapshot Report outlines key findings from Phase 9 (August 2023) of the Audience Outlook Monitor in Australia, based on data collected from 1,005 audience members living in Queensland.

Key points 

  • In 2023, attendance amongst QLD audiences is reaching its highest point since 2020. Three in four QLD audience members say they attended at least one kind of cultural event in the fortnight prior to data collection (77%),
  • Key differences in how various groups are attending and spending:
    • Young and restless: Audiences under 35 are attending frequently, but spending the least, with concerns about their economic outlook.
    • Family frugality: Audiences aged 35-54 with children living at home were less likely to have attended a cultural activity in the last fortnight (72%) and are managing pressures on family budgets.
    • Older and bolder: Audiences over 55 are spending the most on cultural events right now, and their spending is growing. 
  • Big increases in attendance appear unlikely over the next 12 months, with 67% predicting their attendance will stay the same

Key points

  • Financial reasons remain the top barrier to attendance, impacting 4 in 10 QLD audience members. This is followed by followed by audiences ‘prioritising other things’ in their lives (32%) and a perceived lack of appealing events (30%).
  • Spending levels at arts and culture events are not growing, as QLD audiences weigh up value for money and take longer to make decisions.
  • Younger audiences and families continue to be the most impacted by financial barriers.
  • QLD audiences are looking for inexpensive things to do, however, half are also ‘splashing out’ or ‘splurging’.

Key points

  • QLD audiences are interested in a wide range of content, though budget pressures are leading some towards ‘safer’ bets. Results show significant appetite amongst QLD audiences including fun, uplifting things (79%), events with great reviews (68%), and ‘events with big name artists/performers’ (62%).
  • Audiences have an appetite for a vibrant and varied arts scene in QLD and want to ensure it continues to expand.

I love the seriousness of attending a performance, it makes it special. But I also the light-hearted side. I guess a variety would be beneficial. Perhaps more things for beginners, it's very daunting when your new to that whole [thing]. Most people only go when they are taken by a more seasoned attendee.’ (35-54, QLD)

Audiences are looking for every opportunity that will make them feel happy, respected, "part of something" valued and able to share their experience, and have long lasting memories. Let us try to make every event for the artists and the audience to feel this.’ (65-74, QLD)


Key points

  • Digital channels are important to audience engagement – with 78% of QLD attendees finding out about arts and culture events online including direct emails from arts organisations and websites.
  • Preferred platforms look very different across age groups: email marketing is the priority for 55+, while word-of-mouth and socials are key for younger audiences.
  • Almost 4 in 10 QLD audiences continue to engage in online arts and culture, and half say digital cultural activities still play a role in their lives
  • Online spending amongst QLD audiences has decreased since November 2021, with 3 in 10 digital audiences paying for arts experiences.
  • Some QLD audiences feel there is a lack of enriching online experiences – while others face technical barriers.

Key findings

  • 4 in 10 QLD audiences are booking less than two weeks out, with 11% on the day of the event and 18% booked in the week leading up to the event.
  • Qualitative data indicates that several QLD audiences are hesitant to book in advance because they are unsure if they will be able to make it due to illness, work, study commitments and other ad hoc commitments that may arise.
  • Last-minute bookers typically hear about events via word-of-mouth (47%), while early bookers rely on emails (56%)
  • Key motivations for booking early include: Big name artists/performers; wanting to secure particular seats; booking tickets as part of a subscription/membership package and the need to plan ahead to coordinate travel timings and accommodation.



Audience Monitor Report Queensland Snapshot August 2023 (PDF) (4.25 MB)


About the research

Arts Queensland has collaborated with research agencies Patternmakers (Sydney) and WolfBrown (USA) and other government art agencies across Australia since 2020 in the international Audience Outlook Monitor research.

Each phase of the project has involved a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations, and festivals.

For more information about the study, and to access resources such as the dashboard, visit 


Previous phases

Phase 8 October 2022: Audience Out look Monitor  

Phase 7: March 2022, Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 6: November 2021, Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 5: July 2021 Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 4: March 2021 Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 3: September 2020 Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 2: July 2020 Audience Outlook Monitor

Phase 1: May 2020 Audience Outlook Monitor