The Audience Agency's nationwide longitudinal (ongoing) panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic and beyond.

This research starts from a belief that everyone’s experiences, and everyone’s cultural engagement, matters. That we cannot understand the cultural impact of this moment without listening to the whole of our society. And that we need to recognise the different situations from which people came into this crisis and the different ways — whether in its apparent changeability, or in reinforcing existing disadvantages — that it has affected people as they have passed through it. We hope that it will also help us to ‘build back better’, responding to a far wider range of experiences and needs than before.

“We're starting to get some clues about what the new cultural landscape may look like after COVID-19, with people increasingly keen to get back to live attendance - especially younger and metropolitan groups - but with a risk of some others being left out. Ensuring disabled people aren't excluded is key, and so is adapting to the persistence of home working, which is likely to encourage more local attendance."

- Oliver Mantell, Director of Evidence and Insight


Quarterly Key Findings

Wave 6 | Spring 2022

Wave 5 | Winter 2021

Wave 4 | Autumn 2021

Wave 3 | Summer 2021

Wave 2 | Spring 2021

Wave 1 | Autumn 2020


About the Monitor

This research is part of a national research programme led by the Centre for Cultural Value in collaboration with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and The Audience Agency. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through UK Research and Innovation’s COVID-19 rapid rolling call. This collaborative approach is what has allowed us to conduct such an extensive national programme of ongoing research, helping us to understand and track changes in the public’s cultural participation through and beyond COVID-19.

Key things to note about this research are that it:

  • Samples the whole population
  • Covers all sectors
  • Shows change over time
  • Is linked to Audience Spectrum

'Waves' of the Cultural Participation Monitor Survey:

  • Wave 1: 6,055 responses, Oct-Nov 2020​
  • Wave 2: 1,503 responses, Feb 2021​
  • Wave 3: 2,002 responses, June 2021
  • Wave 4: 2,025 responses, Sept 2021
  • Wave 5: 6,057 responses, Nov 2021
  • Wave 6: 3,197 responses, March 2022

We will continue to build on this foundation to provide an ever-richer understanding of our communities and their cultural engagement. Importantly, this research is focussed on the whole of the UK public and will track and explore their behaviours, attitude and intentions throughout and beyond the crisis, running in a series of further waves of nationally representative panel surveys well into 2022.

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Deep dives into particular aspects of the monitor's findings

Image of Willingness to Attend
Willingness to Attend

Looking at which audiences are most and least willing to attend live events in the near future and which are more or less likely to have already booked for them.

Image of Feature | Home Office, Home Crowd?
Feature | Home Office, Home Crowd?

Has the shift to working from home moved the goal posts for local arts attendance? Oliver Mantell has been considering the evidence of attendance at live arts events.

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Paying for Online Arts

In the Winter 2021 wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor, we asked respondents about their willingness to continue paying to for online arts content in the future.

Image of Philanthropy and Giving
Philanthropy and Giving

We asked respondents specific questions about their attitudes to financial support for the arts, either personally or politically:

Image of Focus on Disability
Focus on Disability

Feelings of societally imposed restriction are old news for audiences with disabilities, which is perhaps partly why they have been so ready to embrace culture differently through COVID.

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Inequality through COVID

Looking at Cultural Participation Monitor data to see who is more negatively impacted and how that relates to, or exacerbates, previously existing and ongoing inequalities in audiences.

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Vaccine Certification Effect

As of March 2021, in the short term the number of people prevented from attending by vaccine certification is likely to exceed the number of people it persuades to attend.

Image of Wellbeing Through Covid
Wellbeing Through Covid

While audiences' wellbeing has taken a significant hit during the pandemic, some groups have felt less negatively impacted than others, and engaging with arts and culture has proved to be a mood booster.