Foundations report 2019-2023

Revenue is up and there is a new audience in town…

Thrive's annual benchmarking report is showing an impressive 39% increase in attendance and revenue for participating venues and festivals in Northern Ireland.

The Foundations report examines ticketing data from 25 NI arts organisations, tracking trends from pre- to post-Covid. Metrics such as audience engagement, loyalty, ticket yield, total customers, and event capacities are all analysed in the report, which covers 2019- 23.

300k more people attended the venues and festivals than pre-covid, generating £4m more at box office.

Nearly a quarter (23%) only appear in ANY of the organisations’ box office systems in 2023, that’s 124k new bookers. That doesn't mean those people never attended before, but they did not appear in participant organisations' ticketing systems since 2018.

The report also shows that 59% of audiences haven't come back after Covid.

Key findings include:

  • 39% more tickets were sold / 300k more people attended.
  • Revenue is up 39% / £4m more raised at box office.
  • 436 (6%) fewer events.
  • 59% of audiences haven't come back from pre-covid.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) are new to ANY of the organisations/ 124k new bookers.
  • Engagement up 9% (a larger % are attending the same organisation multiple times during the year).
  • 33% book more than 7 weeks out, and 28% book the week of the event.
  • 22% of all orgs’ revenue came in through December events- bucking UK trends.

What is the Foundations report?

Every year, we look at box office data to uncover insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland and identify benchmark figures for our region. This benchmark data is to show the ticketing landscape in Northern Ireland, and to break this down by different audience groups (event audiences and festival audiences).

How can this help you?

We hope this will help you to know where you stand in comparison to the rest of the NI sector, and inform future audience development and pricing strategies.

Want to chat about your own ticketing data?

Reach out to to book a free 1-to-1 chat with a member of our team to learn more about your ticketing data.

Our Foundations report shows what the ticketed landscape was like in Northern Ireland in 2019-2023. It uncovers insights into audiences for venues and festivals across Northern Ireland and identifies benchmark figures for our region.

Foundations Report 2019 2023

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