Two of the big misconceptions about performing arts audiences is that they tend to stay clustered in certain areas and that they do not spend much. This is largely a myth and one that needs to be dispelled because the potential within this demographic is huge…if you are able to reach them. The truth is, performing arts audiences have the disposable income to spend, and they are willing to do so–no matter their geographic location.

As a comparison between the average consumer and performing arts audiences, let’s take a look at some stats to gain a better understanding of why the performing arts audience is the best demographic for your brand:

According to a 2017 GOBankingRates survey, more than half of Americans (57 percent) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.

Comparatively, take a look at the following:

Patrons of the Performing Arts Stats

  • Average Income over $190,000
  • Affluent families in this income bracket who are 50 plus have an average of $500,000 (low end) to over $2,000,000 high end (* Personal Capital)

Think these stats pertain only to visitors of Broadway in New York City, or the New York Met, or Lincoln Center? Nope, these are performing arts audiences on Main Street U.S.A!

Another example? 56% of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in a year

More than half (56%) of American adults haven’t taken a vacation in the past 12 months, according to a survey from Allianz Global Assistance USA. That’s up from the 52% who said they hadn’t gone on vacation in the last year…


Patrons of the performing arts are Heritage Travelers — men, and women who travel for culture and history. This segment represents 40% of all leisure travelers and contributes nearly $124 billion to the U.S. economy. Cultural and heritage travelers as a whole are more frequent travelers, reporting an average of 5.01 leisure trips in the past 12 months.

They are more likely to have discretionary income and will travel farther to get the experiences they seek. In fact, about half of most recent overnight leisure trips were 500 miles or more from home.

This is a demographic that is also more likely to participate in culinary activities, such as sampling artisan food and wines, attending food and wine festivals, visiting farmers’ markets, shopping for gourmet foods, and enjoying unique dining experiences as well as fine dining. Ultimately, this is a segment that spends more and stays longer than average US tourists.

Furthermore, a National Endowment of the Arts Study found that:

  • Out of 185.8 million, an estimated 25.1 million U.S. adults attended a performing arts event
  • An average frequency of 2.4 times was reported

Education remains the single most important predictor of performing arts participation. While 35 percent of those with graduate school education reported theater attendance, only 4 percent of those with high school education did so. The frequency of attendance also increases with education level and income is also highly correlated with frequent attendance at a performing arts event.

Still not convinced? Well, a Nielsen Scarborough in Spring 2016 found that:

  • Over 47 million Americans had attended a live theatre event within the past month
  • Around 73.5 million people had visited a performing arts event

Consumer expenditure on arts and culture-related goods in the United States rose 30% from 1999 to 2013 (in billion U.S. dollars) rose from 119 Billion to 151 Billion in 2013.

So What Does This Mean For Your Brand?

The data does not lie:

Performing arts audiences have just as much spending power across the United States as they do in the big cities, and Onstage Publications can get you in front of this hard to reach audience.

This is a coveted demographic, with income and a sense of brand loyalty that cannot be found elsewhere.

To learn more about the demographics that performing arts brings in, please see our previous posts here and here. Good selling!

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