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Audience Outlook Monitor - COVID-19 - Phase 2

The COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor Australia Snapshot Report: July 2020 outlines key findings from Phase 2 of the Audience Outlook Monitor in Australia (July 2020).

The Audience Outlook Monitor research explores how audiences feel about attending events in the future, following the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide artists and cultural organisations with a resource to guide decision-making and forward planning. 

National and Queensland reports are available outlining the key findings from Phase 2 of the study (Data collection: 8 to 12 July 2020).


Key Queensland findings

Returning to events

  • Readiness to attend cultural events has increased. Readiness to attend cultural events has increased significantly in Queensland (33%, up from 25% in May 2020).
  • 22% of QLD audience members have started returning to cultural events. With some arts and cultural venues having re-opened in the state since May 2020, one in five Queensland audiences had attended a cultural event of any kind during the fortnight before data collection in July 2020.
  • Levels of comfort with attending events and venues has increased. Compared with attitudes in May, QLD audiences are feeling higher levels of comfort walking around a museum or gallery (95%, up from 89%), visiting a community art space (89%, up from 81%) and attending an outdoor festival or concert (73%, up from 62%).
  • Outdoor venues and performances are the preferred option for QLD audiences right now. When asked to indicate their preferred option for attending cultural events, 70% indicated outdoor venue with lawn space as their most preferred or second choice. 
  • QLD audiences prefer fixed seating arrangements when attending indoor venues. More Queenslanders preferred an indoor hall with fixed seating (29%) as their first preference to attending arts, compared to an indoor venue with loose seating (5%). A common view is that this arrangement ensures that attendees follow social distancing guidelines.


Audience experiences

  • Safety measures have helped reassure audiences returning to cultural events and venues. Attendees mentioned online and timed tickets and capacity limitations and staff enforcing safety restrictions as a key factor that made their experience more comfortable. 


Future attendance

  • 2 in 5 QLD audience members are making plans to attend future cultural events. More QLD audience members are making plans to attend an event of any kind (42%, up from 13% in May). Among those who have made plans, QLD audiences plan to attend a variety of venue types, for example, a cinema (20%), a live performance (17%) or a museum or gallery (16%) in future, suggesting that confidence is returning in all artforms.  
  • 1 in 4 QLD audiences are purchasing tickets for events in July 2020. One-quarter (28%) of QLD audiences purchasing tickets for this month (July 2020), compared with 0% planning this soon in May 2020. Across the country, lead times for purchasing tickets are shorter than they were in May 2020, with the largest proportion of people buying tickets for events less than one month in advance (33%). 


Participating at home

  • Online participation has continued at a similar rate, but some activities are less popular. Seven in 10 Queenslander engaged in online during the period (70%). There has been a slight drop in certain online activities, such as doing online classes, courses or tutorials (28%, down from 34% in May), seeing virtual exhibitions (14%, down from 17%) and creating content to share online (6%, down from 9%). This could be due to an increase in live or in person offerings during the period.
  • Slightly more QLD audiences members are paying for digital offerings. A slightly greater proportion of QLD audiences members are paying for digital offerings right now compared to May (31%, up from 28%). They are also spending more on online arts and cultural experiences, with more people spending over $50 in the past fortnight, compared to May (39%, up from 34%).



Download the report

Phase 2 Queensland Snapshot Audience Outlook Monitor July 2020 (PDF) (2.79 MB)


Key national findings

  • Views about public interaction vary markedly across the country, based on cases of the virus
  • Audiences are increasingly ready to attend cultural events in most locations
  • 1 in 4 past attendees have started returning to museums and cinemas
  • Most people are comfortable to visit museums and outdoor settings
  • Audiences are comfortable attending 250-seat venues in areas with no community transmission
  • Lead times for purchasing tickets are becoming shorter, with most ticketholders buying less than one month out from an event.
  • Clear communication is integral to informing and reminding attendees about safety measures
  • 4 in 10 would prefer a digital program rather than attending in-person right now
  • Audiences remain engaged with creative activities at home, both on- and off-line
  • Slightly more people are paying for experiences, and they are spending more


Download the report

Phase 2, Australian Snapshot Audience Outlook Monitor, July 2020 pd (PDF) (9.78 MB) 

Phase 2, Australian Snapshot Audience Outlook Monitor, July 2020 word (DOCX) (59.8 KB)


Use the dashboard to get results for your artform and region

Survey data from over 15,000 respondents from Phase 2 has been uploaded to the dashboard, which now contains insights from over 38,000 Australian participants.

Visit the Australian homepage for the dashboard, where you can watch a tour or download a guide.


Future updates

Next stages of the study will in September 2020.

About the research

The Audience Outlook Monitor is an international study tracking how audiences feel about attending arts and culture events in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In Australia, the study is being delivered in Australia by research agencies Patternmakers (Sydney) and WolfBrown (USA) in collaboration with the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Create NSW, Arts Queensland, Arts SA, and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (Western Australia).

Data was initially collected between 6 and 14 May 2020, forming a baseline against which future changes can be tracked. Phase 2 of data collection occurred from 8 to 12 July 2020.

More information about the methodology and survey is available on the Patternmakers website.

Find out more 


Audience Outlook Monitor - COVID-19 - Phase 1