Audience Answers Coming Soon!

The Audience Agency's nationwide longitudinal (ongoing) panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic recovery period and beyond.

Explore the Cultural Participation Monitor

This research starts from a belief that everyone’s experiences, and everyone’s cultural engagement, matters. That we cannot understand the cultural impact of this moment without listening to the whole of our society. And that we need to recognise the different situations from which people came into these recent and ongoing crises and the different ways — whether in its apparent changeability, or in reinforcing existing disadvantages — that it has affected people as theynavigate through them. We hope that it will also help us to ‘build back better’, responding to a far wider range of experiences and needs than before.

Key things to note about this research are that it:

  • Samples the whole population
  • Covers all sectors
  • Shows change over time
  • Is linked to Audience Spectrum

“This new evidence confirms that arts and cultural organisations are suffering a double whammy right now. Trying to navigate these complex reasons for income being down is very challenging for organisations. Developing a really deep understanding of your audience is going to make a big difference because what's working for a peer organisation in a different place with a different audience won’t necessarily work in your community.

- Anne Torreggiani, CEO, The Audience Agency

Regular Key Findings

Wave 8 | Spring 2023

Wave 7 | Autumn 2022

Wave 6 | Spring 2022

Wave 5 | Winter 2021

Wave 4 | Autumn 2021

Wave 3 | Summer 2021

Wave 2 | Spring 2021

Wave 1 | Autumn 2020

The Origins of the Monitor

The Cultural Participation Monitor was part of our work on the Covid-19 Impact Research with Centre for Cultural Value at Leeds, funded by the UKRI Covid Response fund. From autumn 2020 – autumn 21, we did several waves of a survey of the population asking them about their changed and changing attitudes to culture and creativity, going out and staying in, spending their time and money.

'Waves' of the Cultural Participation Monitor Survey:

  • Wave 1: 6,055 responses, Oct 2020​
  • Wave 2: 1,503 responses, Feb 2021​
  • Wave 3: 2,002 responses, June 2021
  • Wave 4: 2,025 responses, Sept 2021
  • Wave 5: 6,057 responses, Nov 2021
  • Wave 6: 3,197 responses, March 2022
  • Wave 7: 3,557 responses, Sept 2022
  • Wave 8: 2,428 responses, March 2023

What's Next for the Monitor

It has proved so useful to have a robust source of information about a proper cross-section of attitudes right now, we have decided to continue the Monitor as quarterly survey in a partnership between The Audience Agency and Centre for Cultural Value. We are currently crowd-funding it while we secure a long-term funder. Opportunities to participate in the future of the monitor include:

  • Collaboration and partnership | We are now working in partnership on each wave of the Monitor to give it a special focus or resonance - and helping us to spread the cost. For example, the spring wave was carried in our in partnership with Vocal-eyes and Stagetext and focused on the experience of disabled people and audiences. The summer one is with Association of Cultural Enterprises and looks at retail and catering in cultural venues.
  • Bespoke Analysis | We have collected a wealth of information over the past 2 years and hold detailed information – including by region and demographics - from a wide range of questions about live and online engagement. If you have specific questions, we may be able to answer them straight away or can offer our services to carry out bespoke analysis for a small fee, contributing to ongoing overheads.

With thanks to our partners to date:

CCV logo.png

Association for Cultural Enterprises.png ALVAlogo.png



Deep dives into particular aspects of the monitor's findings

Image of Willingness to Attend
Willingness to Attend

Looking at which audiences are most and least willing to attend live events in the near future and which are more or less likely to have already booked for them.

Image of Feature | Home Office, Home Crowd?
Feature | Home Office, Home Crowd?

Has the shift to working from home moved the goal posts for local arts attendance? Oliver Mantell has been considering the evidence of attendance at live arts events.

Image of Paying for Online Arts
Paying for Online Arts

In the Winter 2021 wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor, we asked respondents about their willingness to continue paying to for online arts content in the future.

Image of Philanthropy and Giving
Philanthropy and Giving

We asked respondents specific questions about their attitudes to financial support for the arts, either personally or politically:

Image of Focus on Disability
Focus on Disability

Feelings of societally imposed restriction are old news for audiences with disabilities, which is perhaps partly why they have been so ready to embrace culture differently through COVID.

Image of Inequality through COVID
Inequality through COVID

Looking at Cultural Participation Monitor data to see who is more negatively impacted and how that relates to, or exacerbates, previously existing and ongoing inequalities in audiences.

Image of Vaccine Certification Effect
Vaccine Certification Effect

As of March 2021, in the short term the number of people prevented from attending by vaccine certification is likely to exceed the number of people it persuades to attend.

Image of Wellbeing Through Covid
Wellbeing Through Covid

While audiences' wellbeing has taken a significant hit during the pandemic, some groups have felt less negatively impacted than others, and engaging with arts and culture has proved to be a mood booster.