Italian cultural audiences are beginning to book tickets again, though many are still reluctant to return to live events, according to a new study by Indigo, a consultancy firm for the cultural sector.

As lockdown measures relax in Italy, 30.5 per cent of respondents said they are currently booking or planning to book tickets for live events. However, only 23 per cent of Italian respondents said they would return to events as soon as venues reopen.

The study, which has been conducted in collaboration with Teatro Stabile del FVG, runs from May 27 to June 22, includes 55 cultural institutions and 31,000 responses from Italian cultural audience members and is in partnership with Assomusic, Italy’s association of organisers and producers of live music shows, and the Italian General Association of Performing Arts (AGIS).

Of those not currently buying tickets for events, 40 per cent of respondents said they would wait at least four months before booking. The study also found that younger fans will return to the entertainment venues with greater confidence and in the immediate future, while mature spectators appear more worried.

The responses come from audiences of a wide range of cultural organisations, including theatres, arts centres, orchestras, live music venues, and others.

Ninety-six per cent of Italian audiences said that they have missed live events, with 73 per cent saying they have missed them ‘a lot’.

Fans in Italy are looking forward to seeing performers they know or admire in the flesh (81%), and the two thirds said that some form of social distancing measures in venues would make them feel more comfortable returning.

Assomusica president Vincenzo Spera said: “It is precisely by turning our gaze to the future that the data from the survey provides comfort and gives us confidence.

“They testify in a significant way how the public deems events as an integral part of their culture and emotional capacities to participate in music events and live shows. Starting from this important assumption, we should therefore commit ourselves to reprogramming and inventing new formulas for participation and artistic production.”

The study has been released in Italy following the first wave of results from Indigo’s After the Interval survey in the UK between April 16 and May 6.

During that time period, 17 per cent of respondents in the UK said they were currently booking or planning to book tickets where very few future events were on sale.

Indigo said: “The similarity between the audience responses shows how devastating the impact of Covid-19 has been on the cultural landscapes of both our countries.

“However, the differences in audience sentiment perhaps offer some hope for the UK, as we see Italian cultural attenders returning to booking tickets and attending events as lockdown measures ease.

“Learning from each other, and sharing findings from our audiences, will be vital to successfully rebuilding the global cultural sector – we look forward to continuing this partnership.”