COVID-19 and the Performing Arts –
Six Months After Closure
Executive Summary – Key Findings
- Data from 288 CRMs shows that the impact on ticket sales from COVID-19 not only continues but worsens.
- During the six months since venue closure in North America ticket revenues have fallen by 84% and in the U.K. by 91% compared to the same period in 2019.
- Despite strong performance at the start of the pandemic, funds raised from individual giving have declined by 24% in N.A. and 63% in the U.K. from the equivalent 2019 period.
- If venues were to be able to fully re-open around Christmas and the new year, many would struggle to make up for current low advance sales for these months.
- The picture for March 2021 and beyond looks brighter, but this will only remain the case if organizations can confidently invest in marketing activities to build on strong long-term advance sales.
- In the period from March 16 to September 15, 2020, the number of tickets sold fell 83% and box office income fell 84% compared to the same period in 2019.
- Across the six-month period the trend has worsened. Comparative sales in August and September were only a third of what was achieved in March and April.
- While the number of gifts made has risen compared with the same period in 2019, individual giving income has fallen by almost a quarter.
- The largest comparative decreases are in June, July and August.
- Compared to last year, advance tickets are 67% and revenues 89% of 2019 levels for the period from December 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Strong long-term advances are being fuelled by the rescheduling of shows from 2020 to 2021.
- In the period from March 16 to September 15, 2020, the number of tickets sold fell 92% and box office income fell 91% compared to the same period in 2019.
- Comparative sales increased throughout July and to the middle of August. This initial recovery has not been sustained and recent weeks sales reflect the average for the period.
- The number of gifts given has fallen by 46% and cumulative philanthropic revenue has reduced by 63%, principally due to a fall in gifts of over £10,000.
- Compared to last year, advance tickets are 75% and revenues 85% of 2019 levels for the period from December 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Strong long-term advances are being fuelled by the rescheduling of shows from 2020 to 2021.
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