8697.0 - Performing Arts, Australia, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/09/2004   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


1 This publication presents results from a survey of employing music and theatre production organisations and performing arts festivals for the reference year 2002-03. This is the third time the ABS has conducted the music and theatre component of the Performing Arts Survey with the previous collection being conducted for the 1999-2000 reference period. This is the second performing arts festival component of the survey, with the previous collection being conducted for the 1999-2000 reference period.


2 The scope of the Music and Theatre Production Survey was all employing organisations on the ABS Business Register, classified to class 9241 - MUSIC AND THEATRE PRODUCTION - of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). This class consists of organisations that are primarily engaged in providing live theatrical or musical presentations. This includes concerts, popular music production, theatre production, opera, ballet and drama.

3 The survey scope for the Performing Arts Festival Survey included festivals with a predominant or significant performing arts focus, operating for a duration of greater than two consecutive days, and open to the public. Festivals without a primary performing arts focus such as film, writers, food and flower festivals, and/or with a duration of two days or less were excluded.


4 The ABS uses an economic statistics model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of organisations, and the structural relationships between related organisations. The units model is also used to break groups of related organisations into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS.

5 In mid-2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System the ABS changed its economic statistics units model. The new units model allocated organisations to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population, while the remaining organisations are in the ABS Maintained Population. Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABS Business Register population.

ATO Maintained Population

6 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit is used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.

ABS Maintained Population

7 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS will maintain its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists mainly of large, complex and diverse businesses. The new statistical units model described overleaf has been introduced to cover such businesses:

  • Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional sub-sector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia sub-sector).
  • Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar activities. When a minimum set of data items was available, a TAU was created which covered all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU was classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business could not supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU was formed which contained activity in more than one industry subdivision.

8 For more information on the impacts of the introduction of the new economic statistics units model, refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).

9 Prior to the 2002-03 cycle, the music and theatre production component of this survey used the management unit as the statistical unit. For issues of this publication relating to 2002-03 onwards, the statistical unit for music and theatre production is the ABN unit for organisations with simple structures, and the TAU for organisations with complex structures. In most cases, ABN/TAU units concord with the management units used in the 1999-2000 cycle.


10 The statistical unit used to represent Performing arts festivals, and for which statistics are reported, was the festival.


11 The frame used for the Music and Theatre Production Survey, like most ABS economic surveys, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office's Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme (and prior to 1 July 2000, the Group Employer (GE) scheme). The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses and organisations which have ceased employing.

12 Businesses and organisations which have ceased employing are identified when the Australian Taxation Office cancels their PAYGW registration (or previously their GE registration). In addition, from July 1999 to the end of June 2000, organisations which did not remit under the GE scheme for the previous five quarters were removed from the frame. A similar process has been adopted to remove organisations which do not remit under the PAYGW scheme.

13 The introduction of The New Tax System has a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics, and these are discussed in: Information Paper: ABS Statistics and The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0) and Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).

14 The population used for the Performing Arts Festival Survey comprised listings supplied from a range of sources including festival directories such as the 2000 Australian Performing Arts Directory, festival listings from various government bodies, and the frame from the 1999-2000 survey.


15 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new organisations to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some organisations from the register. The majority of organisations affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

16 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

17 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


18 Annual industry data for music and theatre production is published in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0). There are important differences between the statistics published in the Australian Industry and Performing Arts publications and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between the two sets of estimates.

19 The Australian Industry publication presents annual summary statistics at the ANZSIC class level. It shows the relative performance of each industry class, and allows patterns of change or growth to be analysed across particular segments of the Australian economy. The industry estimates presented in Australian Industry are used in the compilation of the National Accounts, and in the derivation of economy-wide indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP).

20 The Performing Arts publication supplements the annual industry summary statistics with a detailed examination of the structure and performance of organisations involved in providing music and theatre production services for the reference year of the survey.

21 One reason the two sets of estimates vary relates to the use of different industry coding practices. For the Australian Industry publication, organisations are coded to ANZSIC industry classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when they registered for an ABN, or for more complex organisations, information reported directly to the ABS (see paragraphs 6-8). On the other hand, Performing Arts presents estimates for industry classes based on detailed financial data reported in the survey. Approximately 26% of music and theatre production organisations, originally coded to ANZSIC Class 9241, were found to have predominant activity outside the scope of the collection (see paragraph 2), and have consequently been excluded from the results presented in this publication.

22 Other differences in results relate to further scope variations between the two surveys. Non-employing units were included in scope of Australian Industry but generally excluded from the music and theatre production results of Performing Arts. General government units were excluded from the scope of Australian Industry but some were in scope of Performing Arts.


23 While comparisons are made between 2002-03 survey results and an earlier iteration of the Performing Arts publication, the reader should bear in mind that the survey was not designed to support accurate estimates of change, and should exercise caution when comparing 2002-03 results to earlier surveys.

24 Historical comparisons are not made for performing arts festivals due to significant changes to the scope of the survey since the conduct of the last survey in 1999-2000 and it is recommended that readers do not compare previous survey results for this reason. The 2002-03 survey refined the scope to include only festivals with a significant performing arts focus, therefore street parades were excluded from the survey results. The duration of the festival had to be conducted for greater than two or more consecutive days and be open to the public. In 1999-2000 the scope was loosely defined as having a performing arts focus, but street parades were included. The duration of the festival comprised two days or more but was not restricted to consecutive days.

25 Readers should also note that the survey of performing arts festivals is conducted irregularly and estimates will be impacted by the choice of financial year. Several large performing arts festivals are run biennially or on 'even' financial years. These biennial festivals are likely to be excluded from the 2002-03 survey results. The frame source and coverage have also changed since the conduct of the last survey and can be expected to influence the movements between surveys.


26 When interpreting the results of a survey it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. Such factors can be classified as either sampling or non-sampling error.

27 The estimates are based on information obtained from a randomly selected, stratified sample of music and theatre production organisations in the Australian business population. Consequently, the estimates for music and theatre production in this publication are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey (that is, if a census was conducted). One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included. The estimates for performing arts festivals are not subject to sampling error as a census of these organisations was conducted.

28 There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census was conducted and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

29 Sampling variability can also be measured by the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.


Music and theatre production
For profit
Not for profit
Performing arts festivals

Organisations at end June
. .
Employment at end June
. .
. .
Box office takings/ticket sales
. .
Government funding
. .
. .
. .
Labour costs
. .
Contract payments to performers/artists
and artistic support
. .
Rent, leasing and hiring
. .
. .
. .
Operating profit/surplus before tax
. .
Operating profit/surplus margin
. .
Industry value added
. .
Productions with:
Paid performances
. .
Paid attendances
. .

. . not applicable

30 As an example of the above, an estimate of total expenses for music and theatre production organisations in 2002-03 was $575.6m and the RSE was estimated to be 2.6%, giving a SE of approximately $15m. Therefore, there would be two chances in three that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $560.6m to $590.6m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $545.6m to $605.6m.

31 The sampling variability for music and theatre production estimates at the state/territory level were higher than for Australian level aggregates. Within states/territories, the sampling variability, and therefore the RSEs, of estimates for smaller states and territories were higher than for the larger states. Survey estimates for the smaller states and territories should therefore be viewed with more caution than those for other states. RSEs for New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were typically 1 to 3 times greater than the corresponding national figures for employment and financial estimates, and 1 to 2 times higher for estimates of numbers of organisations. RSEs in the other states and territories were up to 7.5 times greater than the corresponding national figures for employment and financial estimates, and up to 8.5 times higher for estimates of numbers of organisations (the wide range of values is a result of the different market shares of small and large organisations in each state/territory).

32 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur in any type of collection and are referred to as non-sampling error. For this survey, non-sampling error may result from such things as deficiencies in the register of organisations from which the sample was drawn, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the survey is not precisely quantifiable, but its impacts can be broadly identified. One such example is paid performances for music and theatre production. Some music and theatre organisations did not keep records of the number of paid performances as these were likely to be kept by the venues, hence an estimate was provided. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the questionnaire, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology. Survey estimates subject to a high level of non-sampling error have been suppressed or provided with relevant cautions.

33 Estimates that have a relative standard error between 10% and 25% are annotated with the symbol '^'. These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use.


34 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


35 For music and theatre production, financial estimates included the activity of any employing organisation that ceased or commenced operations during the year. Counts of organisations included only those that were operating at 30 June 2003. Employment included only those persons working for a music and theatre production organisation during the last pay period ending in June 2003.

36 For performing arts festivals, counts of festivals and financial estimates included any festival that operated during the reference period. Employees and volunteers related to those working or assisting during the conduct of a festival in the reference period.


37 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, organisations, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


38 Inquiries about these statistics and more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by telephoning the contact shown on the front page.