We've looked at average Audience Finder Data from the years immediately preceding the pandemic to create a baseline that we can use to track Scottish Audience recovery.

November 2021

Key Findings

Overall Profile

Scotland Baseline Report 2020 Audience Spectrum.png

  • As would be expected, those segments that are typically higher engaged were over-represented in the booking data from venues and those that are typically lower engaged were under-represented. This was true across all regions, although the trend was less pronounced in the Highlands and Islands.
  • The the most notable change over time (using a consistent cohort of venues) was amongst middle-engaged groups. The two with higher proportions of families — Dormitory Dependables and Trips & Treats — saw increases; the older one with lower proportions of families — Home & Heritage — saw a progressive decrease.


Scotland Baseline Report 2020 Regions.png

  • The Highlands and Islands have a notably different profile and booking behaviour (a broader social mix, higher frequency, lower value), recognising the venues’ particular roles as community hubs.
  • Central and West Scotland were the regions where Regularly Funded Organisations were particularly effective at reaching typically lower-engaged audience groups, but this was mainly for Film, Children & Family and Workshop events (and not, unusually, for Outdoor Arts). These two regions also have some of the highest proportion of those lower-engaged audience groups in their population.
  • South Scotland has a lower proportion of the population who’ve booked (5%) perhaps due to fewer venues and spill-over to venues across the border not included in this analysis. West Scotland was also below average (9%), at a similar level to the Highlands and Islands.

Sectors and Art Forms

Scotland Baseline Report 2020 Top Artforms.png

  • Many of the differences in art form and sector attender profiles match those that might be expected, given segment tastes and attendance levels. The following segments had higher proportions for the following art forms:
    • Metroculturals: Outdoor Arts / Contemporary Visual Arts / Dance
    • Commuterland Culturebuffs: Traditional Visual Arts
    • Experience Seekers: Contemporary Visual Arts / Outdoor Arts
    • Dormitory Dependables: Museums and Heritage
    • Home & Heritage: Traditional Visual Arts
  • All artforms selling over £100k a year (i.e. with high enough volume to avoid misleading fluctuations from small number of specific events) sold more in 2019/20 than they had in 17/18, with only two exception: Plays/Drama and Workshops
  • Workshops often fluctuate substantially due to the combination of high-volume, low price and low volume, high price events in the same category.
  • The decline in Plays/Drama audiences matches a similar decline across the UK.
  • Film (7%) and Outdoor Arts (11%) are the only ones of the other art forms to increase less than 30%: suggesting that most art forms have far exceeded inflationary increases.
  • There has been a drift towards earlier booking (counter to the usual trends)
  • However, this is due to the decreasing proportion of film in the mix of events (an art form which typically books much later than others, with high levels of walk-ups)

Read the report in full, including regional breakdowns