The first wave of the COVID-19 Cultural Participation Monitor (fieldwork: late Oct/early Nov 2020) included the question:
In terms of Covid-19 safety, which best describes your attitude to attending...?
I am happy to attend right now if there was something I wanted to see or do
I would consider attending, but with some reservations
I am not comfortable with this at the moment
I'm not interested in doing this
This was asked in relation to events in:
- Outdoor spaces
- Seated indoor spaces
- Non-seated indoor space
The following analysis looks at the differing proportions who said: "I am happy to attend right now if there was something I wanted to see or do."
By splits of:
- Audience Spectrum type.
We also compared this to the proportion of each group which said that they had already booked or were interested in booking for any art form/sector.
What we found
- Younger audiences were more likely to be happy to attend all three types of venue.
- Younger audiences were also more likely to have booked already.
- White audiences were more likely to be happy to attend all three types of venue.
- Asian/Asian British and Black/Black British audiences were particularly hesitant about events in outdoor settings.
- There was, however, little difference in the proportions who had booked or were interested in booking by ethnicity, with White respondents if anything less likely.
Region or Nation
- English audiences were more likely to be happy to attend all three types of venue.
- Audiences in Scotland, Wales and – especially – Northern Ireland were much more reluctant.
- London and South East audiences were most likely to have booked or be interested in booking.
- Audiences in Wales in particular were less likely.
- Metroculturals are particularly ready to attend. Commuterland Culturebuffs are more reluctant, for indoor events.
- Metroculturals are particularly likely to have booked or be interested.
- Heydays and Home & Heritage are least likely, but Commuterland Culturebuffs are below the other highly engaged segments.
Likihood to attend now
Audiences were more likely to be happy to attend now if they were:
Audiences were less likely to be happy to attend now if they were:
- Asian/Asian British or Black/Black British – esp. for outdoor events
- In Scotland, Wales or esp. Northern Ireland
- Commuterland Culturebuffs (for indoor events)
Likelihood to have booked
Audiences were more likely to have already booked or be interested in booking if they were:
- From London and the South East
Audiences were less likely to have already booked or be interested in booking if they were:
- This analysis suggests that the return of audiences is likely to be earlier for those who are younger and metropolitan, esp. in London and the South East, with notable reluctance from Heydays, Home & Heritage and Commuterland Culturebuffs.
- This matches the groups who returned between lockdowns*.
- This could mean that there is an aggregate shift toward more experimental, varied and contemporary artforms, and away from more traditional work.
- It may also indicate that audiences are slower to return in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which may require additional support for cultural infrastructure from the devolved administrations.
*See our report ‘Between Lockdowns’ for details.
This report is part of a national research programme led by the Centre for Cultural Value in collaboration with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and The Audience Agency.
The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through UK Research and Innovation’s COVID-19 rapid rolling call.