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Key Facts: March 2022 

Attendance Outlook

  • 1,445 WA arts attendees responded to the March 2022 survey
  • -20% decline in WA audiences attending since November 2021
  • 67% are making firm plans to attend cultural events in future
  • 75% of those planning are opting for events in their local area.


  • 58% say the risk of transmission still prevents them attending as they used to
  • Vaccine passports are the most encouraging COVID-safety measure
  • 72% feel encouraged by mandatory masks for attendees aged 12+ at cultural events
  • 90% of WA arts attendees have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Key findings: March 2022

WA audiences are becoming more cautious as rising cases impact attendance

  • In March 2022, data from 1,445 past attendees of cultural events in Western Australia (WA) shows that attendance following the opening of borders and a significant increase in case numbers.
  • The proportion attending has declined from 79% in November 2021 to 59% in March 2022.
  • Around half (48%) say they are ready to attend cultural events ‘whenever permitted’ (down from 82% in November), the lowest level seen in WA in over a year.
  • While most WA audiences have received three shots of a COVID-19 vaccine (90%) – and this rate is higher than the national average (87%) – many continue to be inhibited by the risks of transmission (58%) or being a close contact (50%).
  • Commentary from WA audience members suggests that concerns remain around transmitting the virus to those at-risk in their community – and 53% identify as being vulnerable to COVID-19 themselves or having someone in their household or network who is.
  • Some audience segments in WA remain especially cautious, particularly those at risk of a serious health outcome (22% ready to attend) and those with a disability (35% ready to attend) – confirming it's important that the cultural sector considers the varying needs of its audience.

8 in 10 WA audiences find vaccine passports encouraging, and masks will play a role as cases rise

  • With recent outbreaks creating uncertainty, data from WA audiences suggests COVID-safety measures will continue to play an important role in building confidence.
  • Most of those attending are satisfied overall with COVID-safety measures applied at recent cultural events they attended (84% satisfied), confirming the view of arts venues as relatively safe spaces. But with 7% of attendees dissatisfied, and more yet to return, there is a need for care as restrictions ease.
  • WA audiences continue to be most encouraged to attend cultural venues by requiring proof of vaccination at entry (80% say they are encouraged by this) – while only 52% are encouraged by Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT).
  • 7 in 10 (72%) WA audience members say they find mandatory mask policies encouraging – and three-quarters (75%) are encouraged by requiring check-ins at entry, the highest of any state/territory (compared to 43% nationally).
  • As state guidelines allow for relaxing of restrictions, and Western Australians have the opportunity for greater freedom of movement, cautious attendees will be relying more upon the COVID-safety policies of individual venues to mitigate the risks of transmission.
  • Some audience members will be looking to cultural organisations to adopt a robust approach to COVID-safety in order to communicate inclusivity and care for those who are more vulnerable.

WA audiences are inclined to stay local, with cultural tourism unlikely to recover soon

  • The data shows that the majority of WA audiences are optimistic about attending in 2022, with 67% making firm plans to attend an in-person cultural event – though this has declined from 86% in November 2021.
  • With cases rising, and the proportion spending over $50 decreasing from 61% in November 2021 to 52% in March 2022, it appears that economic recovery is still some way off, and cautious optimism is wise.
  • When asked where their planned events are located, three-quarters (75%) of those making plans intend to stay in their local area, a higher proportion than the national average (70%).
  • Cultural tourism may take some time to recover, and right now WA audiences are seven times more likely to be planning regional travel to attend events (40%) than interstate travel (6%). Just 2 in 10 (24%) WA audience members feel ‘very comfortable’ flying domestically on a commercial airline, compared to a national average of 31%.
  • The arts continue to be perceived as vital to community recovery, providing an avenue for healing, joy and social connection during challenging times. While some audiences are yet to return, they are firm in wanting to support artists and help cultural activity to flourish in new ways.

To view the full report, download the Audience Outlook Monitor, March 2022, Western Australia Snapshot Report

Page reviewed 11 September 2023