Australian fans clamour for return of int’l artists
More than four fifths of Australians say they consider international artists to be a significant factor in their decision to attend live events in future, according to a major new survey commissioned by Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF).
LEIF, a pan-industry body whose members include Live Nation, TEG, AEG Presents, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment and WME, commissioned Ersnt & Young (EY) to survey 35,000 Australian consumers to identify their attitudes towards live shows and expectations for a safe return to live performances.
Among EY’s findings are that over 80% of those surveyed considered overseas artists a “significant” or “very significant” factor in whether they would attend a concert, and that fans want live events with larger crowd numbers to return this year, with more than 80% also keen to see live events return with greater crowd numbers by November 2021.
Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG and co-chair of LEIF, saysthe results underline the need for the Australian federal and state governments to align with leading promoters to ensure vaccinated international acts and their crews can enter the country and move around easily in Covid-safe travel bubbles for shows and festivals throughout the coming summer.
“We already know that international superstars love to tour Australia and that we offer them the best fans, the best weather and the best food in the world,” comments Jones. “We also know that shows by international artists generate 80% of concert ticket sales by value. They also generate the greatest economic benefit for our country through tourism, travel, hospitality and other industries, and to our own industry, which has been ravaged by the pandemic.
“EY’s findings show that Aussie fans are hungry for the world’s biggest performers to return to our shores and tour our beautiful country.”
“Aussie fans are hungry for the world’s biggest performers to return to our shores and tour our beautiful country”
Roger Field, president of Live Nation Asia Pacific and co-chair of LEIF, agrees: “Other international markets are beginning to reopen and offer alternative touring options for artists, so it is absolutely critical that we reach rapid alignment with the federal and state and territory governments at national cabinet level to ensure Australia does not miss out on this vital opportunity for the live entertainment industry to recover from the worst year in its long and storied history.”
Amid fresh lockdown measures to quash the current outbreaks of Covid-19, EY’s survey also spotlights the positive impact that live entertainment has on the nation’s mental health, showing that three-quarters of Australians saying they consider live events an important part of their work, social and family life.
Julia Robinson, general manager of the Australian Festivals Association, says: “EY’s study shows how vital live experiences are to social cohesion and wellbeing. Events bring us together. They can inspire and move us. Live entertainment is the antidote to last year’s disconnection, and we know audiences around Australia continue to miss their festivals, concerts and events.”
Live Performance Australia CEO Evelyn Richardson says the best call to action for fans to help the live entertainment industry is to go and get vaccinated: “If we want keep our theatre and venue doors open, and we want to see our favourite performers on stage, the most important thing we can do right now is to get vaccinated. Not only will it keep our communities, families, friends and colleagues safe, it will ensure the future of our industry. Don’t wait. Do it now so we can welcome the world’s greatest acts back to the country that they love visiting and performing in.”
LEIF’s executive committee includes the heads of TEG, Live Nation, Chugg Entertainment, AEG Presents, Frontier Touring, WME, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks, Adelaide Oval, Venues West, Venues Live, ASM Global, Michael Cassel Group, Stadiums Queensland, Live Performance Australia, Australian Festivals Association, and Venue Management Association.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.