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Live Revenues Down In Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (VIP-NEWS) Australia's live music business in 2008 has slipped back to its mid-decade level but still managed to generate more than $1 billion Australian in ticket sales, according to a new report issued by Live Performance Australia.

Live Performance Australia™ [LPA], the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and the performing arts industry today announced survey findings that show the industry is worth $1 billion, confirming that despite the global economic downturn, Australians still love to go out and experience a great live show.

Live Performance Australia’s Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey 2008 released today, showed that the live entertainment market is still strong with revenues exceeding $1 billion. The commercial sector, as expected, continues to lead in terms of total revenue.

While ticket sales declined overall, they returned to 2005 levels, reflecting that 2006 and 2007 were peak years in the current economic cycle.

The largest revenue-generating categories were contemporary music (37 per cent); musical theatre (24 per cent); classical music (10 per cent) and theatre (8 per cent). These four categories accounted for 79 per cent of the total revenue from live performance during 2008.

Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia™ (LPA), Evelyn Richardson, said the revenue and attendance figures reflected the continuing strength and dynamic nature of the live performance industry in Australia.

“Spending by Australians on live performance has remained strong” said Richardson.

“These figures are comparable to trends in other major territories around the world, highlighting the fact that Australia has a world-class live performance industry. This is evidenced by the success of individual performers and touring shows, for example Dirty Dancing and Priscilla moving to the West End and local hits such as Wicked, Chicago, Billy Elliot and Jersey Boys.”

“The strength of the music sector looks set to continue with recent record breaking ticket sales for concerts such as Pink and AC/DC”.

The real value of the industry is even larger than revealed by the survey, which did not capture all ticketed performances, such as regional venues and smaller, self-ticketing venues and festivals.

President of LPA Andrew Kay said the current economic outlook would create challenges for the industry.

“We know from experience that our industry is cyclical and the global downturn will have an effect on Australia. However, these are not new challenges for our industry,” said Kay.

‘We are looking at ways to sustain our activity across the live performance industry.”

“This means finding new and innovative ways to deliver compelling live performance events that will keep attracting audiences, as well as working closely with governments at every level to ensure the ongoing vitality of the live performance industry.”

“The results from our survey prove that Australians are passionate supporters of live performance and that the industry makes a significant economic contribution,” said Kay.

“This year we launched our new Producer Development Program to support up-and-coming producers. We are also looking at ways to create new Australian work for the commercial sector for local audiences and export.

“Ensuring an investment environment that supports the growth of the live performance industry is critical. As our survey results show, our industry is a fundamental part of Australia’s economic and cultural life,” Richardson said.