Reporting requirements: NPO leaders share their frustrations

Illuminate website login page
25 Jan 2024

Nearly a year into the latest investment round, many National Portfolio Organisations are finding the new reporting requirements unduly burdensome - at best - and, in some instances, unfit for purpose. A group of NPO Chief Executive Officers explain their struggles.

Audience behaviour: Where do we go from here?

Interior of Blackpool Winters Gardens showing empty foyer
12 Sep 2023

As the Covid aftermath continues to unfold, David Reece explores how audience behaviour has changed and what that means for the way the performing arts shape future success.

Springing back into action: new insights

Graphic showing a person speaking into a mic, a meter, tickets, emojis, mobile phone
26 Apr 2023

Most people in the sector don’t need to be analysts but they do need the insight to make changes that speak to audiences. Here, Anne Torregiani shares how this thinking has shaped The Audience Agency’s next-generation suite of audience insight tools. 

Weathering the cost-of-living storm across the UK

Storm clouds and lightning
08 Dec 2022

Research rings warning bells about the potential effects of the cost-of-living clouds rolling in across all four nations. Anne Torreggiani asks how we can brace for impact and support communities? 

Frequent engagement in the arts decreasing

An audience watching a perfromance
20 May 2024

Proportion of people engaging physically with the arts on a weekly basis has fallen by 14 percentage points over the last two years, according to government data.

Royal Opera House announces name change

Exterior view of Royal Ballet and Opera
30 Apr 2024

Change of name to the Royal Ballet and Opera forms part of a series of measures designed to increase income for the organisation in the face of a decline in public subsidy levels.

Visitor numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels

the British Museum
19 Mar 2024

Solid year-on-year rise in attendence figures for UK visitor attractions, but the total remains 11% down on pre-pandemic levels.

More than half of arts audiences are first-time bookers

Audience cheering
05 Mar 2024

Research into the behaviour of new arts audiences post-pandemic found the retention rate of new bookers in 2023 was higher than it has been since 2016.

ACE in talks on future of Illuminate data platform

The PricewaterhouseCoopers logo on the side of a tall building
25 Jan 2024

Contract for Illuminate data platform ends in March 2026, a year ahead of the end of the recently extended National Portfolio for 2023-27, raising questions over its future.

How to boost arts audiences

Image of people from above, generated by DALL-E
22 Jan 2024

The figures for attendance at arts events in the UK have been stable since 2005*, writes Agnieszka Wlazeł, despite a variety of audience development initiatives over the years. 

What’s in store for 2024?

Graphic of maybugs sitting on pebbles in a river, holding the date 2024
11 Jan 2024

Anne Torreggiani and colleagues at The Audience Agency share their predictions and top tips for success.  

Joining forces for the future

Dictionary entry: Merger
06 Dec 2023

Last week, The Audience Agency announced a merger with fellow sector support charity, Culture24. Here, CEO Anne Torreggiani explains why they have joined forces and how their work together will support a more future-focused sector.

Liverpool orchestra partners with Cumbrian port town

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra strings section
31 Oct 2023

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will provide a three-year programme of concerts, community events and educational activities in Barrow-in-Furness, located nearly 100 miles to the north of Merseyside.

National Theatre to pilot early evening performances

17 Oct 2023

The National Theatre will trial early evening performances in an effort to adapt to the "post-Covid lifestyles" of its patrons.

The theatre said the move, which will involve a selected number of early-evening performances starting at 6.30 pm, follows research it conducted to understand how the habits of audiences have changed since the pandemic.

The trial will begin with performances in February and will continue until mid-June. A total of 20 performances across five different productions have been scheduled.

"The early evening performances will offer more flexibility for audiences to make the most of their evening, whether that’s more time to grab a bite to eat, to discuss the show over a glass or two, or simply not having to rush off to catch the last train," the National theatre said.

Proms attendance up on pre-pandemic levels

13 Sep 2023

Average attendance figures for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall this year were significantly up on 2019.

According to figures released by the BBC, more than half the main evening concerts at the venue sold out, with an average audience attendance across the season at the Hall of 93%. This is up seven percentage points on pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 

Nearly half (47%) of audiences at the Royal Albert Hall were attending a Prom for the first time.

Meanwhile, nearly one million people watched the First Night of the Proms on BBC Two, its strongest overnight TV audience since 2009. A peak audience of 3.5 million people watched the Last Night of the Proms on BBC One.

Sam Jackson, Controller of BBC Radio 3 said: "This has been a fantastic year for the Proms, and demonstrates the country’s appetite for classical music from the BBC. 

"In multiple ways, audiences are higher than pre-pandemic figures, and I’m particularly pleased to see so many young people coming to classical music, often for the very first time."

Arts audience 'attitude shift' driven by young people

Young people attending a performance
07 Aug 2023

Younger people are more likely to want arts organisations to align with their values and prefer a wider range of permitted behaviours when attending venues.

Everyday creativity - for everyone?

Graphic showing magic, gaming, cookery, drawing, a microphone
24 May 2023

Our recent research into everyday creativity reveals new ways cultural organisations could serve wider communities. But making the most of them, says Anne Torreggiani in this preview of a forthcoming resource, might need a radical rethink.

Successful membership schemes build stronger audience connections

16 May 2023

Cultivating strong audience relationships is essential for sustainability. And that loyalty is crucial to achieving this goal, writes Nick Stevenson

Opera North and Newcastle University launch three-year partnership

A scene from an Opera North production of Kiss Me Kate
12 May 2023

Organisations plan to build on previous work together through formal partnership to improve audience accessibility.

Tixly to be partner with Trafalgar Tickets

02 May 2023

Event ticketing software company Tixly has been selected as ticketing partner for Trafalgar Tickets.

Trafalgar Tickets will begin using Tixly’s ticketing system later this year.

The company is the ticketing division of Trafalgar Entertainment, a theatre venue business founded in 2017.

Tixly currently provides services to over 100 venues and cultural organisations around the world, allowing customers to sell events, manage customers through advanced CRM and use enhanced segmentation tools to enable marketing.

“I am thrilled we have found a partner in Tixly whose approach to technology and product development is so aligned with our own,” said Trafalgar Tickets’ CEO Johan Oosterveld.

“We share a desire to reimagine how customers and producers interact with our venues. By leveraging Tixly’s advanced feature set within our technology stack, we will be able to unlock commercial opportunities and accelerate our growth ambitions in the UK and internationally”.

Liam Oakley, Trafalgar Tickets’ Director of Operations, described Tixly as “a feature-rich yet intuitive system” well-placed to meet the company’s evolving needs.


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