Audience Outlook Monitor – March 2021

This National Snapshot Report outlines key findings from the March 2021 phase of the Audience Outlook Monitor in Australia (Phase 4), based on 13,836 respondents.

Launched in May 2020, the study is tracking audience sentiment in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Key national findings

  • 7 in 10 audiences are now attending in-person and ticket sales are increasing. Due to the increasing numbers of events and outdoor programming over summer, more people said they had recently attended a cultural venue or event of some kind and are making plans to attend in future. 
  • After months of very low infection rates, confidence to attend events in person is growing stronger. The primary reason inhibiting attendance is no longer the risk of transmission, but the risk of lockdowns and cancelled events.
  • Overall, audiences are generally satisfied with most COVID-safe practices at most types of venues. However, some are concerned about inconsistency in capacity and social distancing requirements.
  • Audiences now feel comfortable with most venue types, including those where audiences were previously more cautious such as stadiums or arenas (76%, up from 53% in September 2020) and comedy clubs and live music venues (56% up from 37%). Comfort levels with large theatres or concerts halls has risen to 91% up from 67%.
  • Nearly half of all audiences continue to participate online (47%), and many plan to continue. However, some audiences are tiring of digital experiences and face barriers to online participation.
  • The proportion of users paying for online content is now 37%, comparable to levels seen in September 2020 (39%), pointing to an enduring market for premium digital experiences.
  • Looking ahead,  the outlook is positive, with 94% of audiences planning to get vaccinated, and most at least somewhat confident that the vaccination roll-out will help things return to normal within 12 months.


Download the national report

Audience Outlook Monitor Australia Snapshot Report March 2021 (PDF) (4.15 MB)


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.  

Each phase involves a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving 130 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations, and festivals.

 On 3 March 2021, participating organisations simultaneously sent the Phase 4 survey to a random sample of their audience – defined as those who had attended an arts or cultural event in person since January 2018.

In addition to this Snapshot Report, the March 2021 results are freely accessible in an interactive dashboard. Users can explore the data for all different artforms, types of events and demographic groups in all parts of Australia. 

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

Find out more

Audience Outlook Monitor - Phase 3 (September 2020)