More than 80 per cent of regular theatregoers said they would not return to attending events just because venues reopened, according to a report on the industry.
The UK online survey by Indigo, a consultancy firm for the cultural sector, was designed to capture audience views on returning to arts events, booking tickets now and in the future, and missing out on live events during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The report found that on 17 per cent of fans are booking tickets for events, with half of those bookings for events from November and onwards.
Forty-one-per-cent of respondents said they would not consider booking for events for at least four months, with fans stating refunds, credits and exchange options are all of high importance to audiences booking tickets right now.
Following reopening, 79 per cent of fans would support a voluntary donation to a ‘recovery fund’ when buying tickets, while only 18 per cent would support increasing ticket prices to support organisations that have been hit hard financially.
The After the Interval study received 86,000 responses from 192 organisations and includes data from between April 16 and May 6.
In a different study by ticketing technology firm SeatPlan, it found more than 90 per cent of theatre fans said they would not spend more than £20 for a streamed performance, leaving a “huge deficit” compared to equivalent ticket sales.
SeatPlan surveyed 1,957 regular theatregoers on how audiences’ relationship with theatre has changed following COVID-19, what performances post-lockdown could be like and whether it seems feasible that theatres can survive through alternative means.
The report found that 71 per cent of theatregoers have already streamed a West End show since the lockdown, accounting for a 400 per cent increase, however only 28 per cent of those have paid for a stream.
It found that 39 per cent of those surveyed still have an existing valid booking, 48 per cent having rescheduled a performance and 37 per cent have taken a credit voucher.
Theatregoers remain steadfast, with 88 per cent of them saying they are as, or more, likely to attend a West End theatre after lockdown.
Theatres in London and across the UK closed on March 16 and will be closed until at least September.
Image: Andrew Dupont