COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor 2022

Creative Australia,
27 January 2023, Australia

How the pandemic has changed accessibility

The Australia Council has been working with Patternmakers and WolfBrown since 2020 to understand changes in the behaviours and sentiments of arts-goers.

The Audience Outlook Monitor tracking study has provided the arts and cultural sector with crucial insights regarding behaviours and sentiments of arts audiences over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to bring timely and essential data and trends on audience sentiment and trends to support planning and decision-making for arts and creative organisations.

The latest analysis focuses on accessibility needs of audiences, and key insights are outlined in a new PDF report: How the pandemic has changed accessibility.

The data suggests the pandemic and cost of living crisis are impacting audiences with access needs to a greater extent.

The pandemic has increased the visibility of audiences’ access needs and the conversation about accessibility continues to expand. However, sustaining digital events beyond the context of the pandemic will be challenging for some organisations, and there is a risk that advancements in accessibility brought about by digital alternatives could be lost as the sector returns its focus to in-person events. Online events can foster accessibility, but this does not negate the importance of prioritising accessibility in physical venues.