What made Victoria the best performing state for live performances?

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What made Victoria the best performing state for live performances?


LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson says, “For the first time, Victoria takes the mantle of having the largest industry share for ticket sales revenue and attendance. Record revenue of $639 million (up 45%) and attendances of 7.4 million (up 35%) were driven by growth in major contemporary music concerts, musicals, circus and physical theatre and theatre”. Contemporary music experienced an increase of 97.3% in revenue to $255.87 million and 60.6% in attendance to 2.48 million. According to the LPA, the growth in his sector was due to international blockbuster tours by Adele, Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber. Ticket prices in this sector rose 23.9%.

Musical theatre revenue increased by 59.2% to $205 million and attendance by 56.3% to 1.92 million due to major musicals as The Book of Mormon, My Fair Lady and Aladdin. Comedy’s revenue was $27.31 million with total attendance of 585,000. Circus and physical theatre experienced an increase of 351.4% in revenue to 41.25 million and 158% in attendance to 419,000. Theatre revenue increased by 19.3% to $26.8 million and attendance by 42.5% to 535,000. Ballet and dance generated $20 million from ticket sales of 242,000 and children and family shows $14.47 million from 365,000 tickets.

Victoria’s growth can be directly attributed to a supportive state government which invests in the right places. Its funding of the restoration of theatres and venues, especially in regional areas, has attracted productions and crowds. Independent promoters work closer with interstate colleagues to snare productions. As acts’ fees escalate, festival promoters have been smart enough to pull back on the number of headliners, and focus their budget spend on “experience” with more emerging acts as part of the punter’s desire for music discovery. Promoters however say new acts draw new fans who have their own behaviour. Some buy tickets but don’t turn up, affecting the mood of the show. Others come once, and don’t return, which make it difficult to build up an event’s fanbase.

To place Victoria’s achievement in the larger picture, the entire Australian live performance scene had a record year for revenue and attendance. It was the highest since LPA began releasing its annual report in 2004. LPA’s Richardson said, “Over 23 million Australians attended live events with over $1.88 billion generated through ticket sales. This represents a 23% growth in attendance and 32% growth in revenue nationally between 2016 and 2017.

“While contemporary music recorded its highest levels of ticket sales and revenue ($826 million) and attendance (8.5 million), circus and physical theatre and contemporary music festivals also recorded strong growth. Not only do the overall numbers show double-digit growth, it’s great to see revenue and attendance growth in all Australian states and territories”.