By David Brownlee, Director of International Strategy
TRG Arts collates and analyses the sales figures for the UK Theatre Association whose members include most medium and large venues outside of London.
We’ve just completed the initial analysis for the whole of 2018 which, in the context of a tough year for retail and future uncertainty over Brexit, generally looks positive and was record-breaking for the largest presenting houses.
In taking a closer look, here are our four top-level take-aways:
1. Cumulatively 62,584 more tickets were sold than in 2017. This modest growth in sales was eclipsed by a £39.3 million increase in revenues, driven by an average rise of £2 in the price paid per ticket. But most types of venues did not witness this big increase in ticket yield.
2. 2018 was a great year for tours of big musicals and it was the biggest (1,000+ capacity) receiving houses that accounted for 89% of the overall growth in income. In these venues the average yield leapt a massive 10% compared to 2017, an increase of £2.94.
3. All other venue types saw far more modest growth in yields and presenting houses with a capacity of less than 1,000 seats on average recorded increases at less than the rate of inflation.
4. Analysis of the peak Christmas period (last three weeks of 2018 and first week of 2019) showed small increases in sales and income compared to the same period 12 months before, but in real terms still did not match the record year of 2016/17 for tickets sold or yield achieved.