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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/10/2009   
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FEATURE ARTICLE: MUSIC ATTENDANCE IN AUSTRALIA


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Introduction

Attendance at Music Events by Sex and Age

Attendance at Music Events by Highest level of Academic Attainment

Attendance at Music Events by Level of Employment

Attendance at Music Events by Level of Income

References


INTRODUCTION

Numerous studies suggest that music plays a vital role in shaping Australian culture and our identity. According to the Tasmanian Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, participation in the arts can have many positive outcomes, including cognitive, social and emotional benefits (DEPHA, 2008). Participation in music can also benefit not only the individual, but the community as a whole (Australia Council 2007-09).

The current Australian Government has outlined initiatives aimed at increasing participation, access and growth of live performances in Australia (Australia Council 2007-09). This acknowledged importance of live music performances in Australia has led to further initiatives at state government level which aim to increase music attendance and accessibility within the states and territories. For example, the South Australian Government has outlined a cultural engagement initiative which aims to increase attendance at selected cultural activities, including music by 40% by 2014 (Arts SA 2007). Similarly, the Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments have introduced initiatives to increase access and opportunity to attend live performances regardless of income, location or ethnicity (NRETAS 2007, DCA 2004-07).

This article provides information on people aged 15 years and over who attended music events in Australia in the 12 month period prior to the interview in 2005-06. Information in this article presents results from the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) 2005-06. In particular, this article focuses on the characteristics of attendees at selected music events. Studying the demographic profile of people attending music events may help to formulate strategies to increase attendance levels as well as providing information to be used to support government policy making, evaluation and funding in this area.


ATTENDANCE AT MUSIC EVENTS BY SEX AND AGE

In 2005-06, a quarter of the population (25%) attended a popular music concert in Australia. This was significantly higher than the attendance rates for both musicals and operas (16%) and classical music concerts (9%).

Popular music concerts were equally popular among males and females in 2005-06, with little difference in attendance rates (25% and 26% respectively). However, females were more likely than males to attend classical music concerts, with 11% attending compared with 8% of males. Attendance rates at musicals and operas for males and females were also significantly different with 21% of females attending compared with 12% of males.

ATTENDANCE AT SELECTED MUSIC EVENTS, By sex - (12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06
Graph: Attendance at Selected Music Events, By sex—(12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06


Attendance rates at popular music concerts were generally higher among younger people with lower attendance rates among the older age groups. People aged 18-24 recorded the highest attendance rates for popular music concerts compared with other age groups, with 40% of this age group attending.

In contrast, classical music concerts tended to have higher attendance rates in the older age groups, With 13% people aged 55-64, 12% for people aged 45-54 years and 65-74 years old, and 10% for people aged 75 years and over. In comparison, classical music attendance rates for the 15-17, 18-24 and 25-34 year age groups were significantly less, ranging from 6% (18-24) to 7% (25-34). Attendance at musicals and operas showed a similar trend with people in the 55-64 year old age bracket recording an attendance rate of 20% and the 45-54 age group recording an attendance rate of 19%. Interestingly, the 15-17 year old age group also had a high attendance rate for musicals and operas, with 18% attending.

TYPE OF MUSIC EVENT ATTENDED, By age group - (12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06
Graph: Type of Music Event Attended, By age group—(12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06



ATTENDANCE AT MUSIC EVENTS BY HIGHEST LEVEL OF ACADEMIC ATTAINMENT

Attendance at selected music events by highest level of academic attainment showed that people whose highest educational attainment was year 10 or below were least likely to attend a music event. People with a postgraduate degree were most likely to attend classical music concerts (26%). This was significantly higher than those people with an education level of year ten or below (5%). People with a graduate diploma or graduate certificate also had a significantly higher attendance rate at popular music concerts (40%) and musical and operas (34%) compared with people with a year ten level of education or below (16% for popular music concerts and 11% for musicals and operas). Those people with a postgraduate degree were more likely to attend classical music events than musicals and operas, a result that is reversed for all other education groups. Interestingly, attendance levels increased with higher levels of education attainment with the exception of people with a certificate level of education.

TYPE OF MUSIC EVENT ATTENDED, By highest level of academic attainment - (12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06
Graph: Type of Music Event Attended, By highest level of academic attainment—(12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06



ATTENDANCE AT MUSIC EVENTS BY LEVEL OF EMPLOYMENT

Employed people (full-time and part-time) recorded higher attendance rates at all music events than people who were unemployed or not in the labour force. Full-time and part-time employed had similar attendance rates with 20% of part-time employed people attending musicals and operas compared with 18% of full-time employed people. Full-time and part-time employed people also had similar attendance at popular music concerts (32% and 31% respectively) and classical music concerts (11% and 10% respectively).

Unemployed people were more likely to attend popular music concerts than other music events with 23% attending a popular music event in 2005-06. This was a significantly higher attendance rate than was recorded for people not in the labour force (14%).

More full-time (11%) and part-time (10%) employed people attended classical music events than people not in the labour force (8%). However, people who were not in the labour force and those that were unemployed had similar attendance rates at classical music concerts (8% and 7%) and musicals and operas (13% and 11%).

TYPE OF MUSIC EVENT ATTENDED, By type of employment - (12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06
Graph: Type of Music Event Attended, By type of employment—(12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06



ATTENDANCE AT MUSIC EVENTS BY LEVEL OF INCOME

The previous analysis suggests that attendance at music events is not only related to age, but also educational attainment and labour force status. In particular, the data shows that people who are employed (either part-time or full-time) have higher attendance rates than those unemployed or not in the labour force. Attendance also shows a general increase as educational attainment increases. (As educational attainment and employment are often linked with income, the following section looks at attendance at music events by income).

For classical music concerts, popular music concerts and musical and operas residents with household income in the highest and fourth quintiles had significantly higher attendance rates than those in the lowest and second quintiles. As the gross household income decreased, attendance rates at all music events also showed a decline. Respondents in the highest quintile were most likely to attend popular music concerts with 37% attending, this was more than double the attendance for those residents in the lowest quintile (14%).

TYPE OF MUSIC EVENT ATTENDED, By equivalised gross household quintiles - (12 months prior to interview in) 2005-06




REFERENCES

Arts SA, 2007, South Australian Strategic Plan, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, viewed on 19 March 2009, <http://www.arts.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=120>.

Australia Council, 2007-2009, Creative Communities Strategy, Canberra, viewed on 19 March 2009, <http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/about_us/strategies_and policies/cultural_engagement_framework/creative_communities>.

Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA), Government of Western Australia, Championing Creativity, An Arts Development Policy Framework for Western Australia 2004-2007, Perth, viewed on 19 March 2009, <http://www.dca.wa.gov.au>.

Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts (DEPHA), 2008, Social Impacts of Creative Participation in Arts and Cultural Activity, Hobart, viewed on 19 March 2009, <http://www.arts.tas.gov.au>.

Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport (NRETAS), 2007, Creative Communities, Northern Territory, viewed on 19 March 2009, <http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/arts/artnt/aboutus/artspolicy.html>.



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