TRG Arts

Arts & Culture Benchmark

The League’s partnership with the TRG Arts & Culture Benchmark provides access to the latest orchestra patron data, including ticket sales and revenues; donation units and revenues; and patron demographics. More than 40 participating orchestras also receive real-time access to an interactive dashboard for analyzing and patron trends. Read the latest findings and learn more below.

Orchestra Patron Data September 2023

League Insights

The aggregated results presented below provide an indicative overview of patron behavior based on data from 40+ orchestras; every individual orchestra will have its own unique story to tell.

  1. While rising expenses continue to concern many orchestras, ticket revenue has now caught up to pre-pandemic levels. Following a gradual recovery since 2021, orchestra ticket revenue was 1% higher in Jan-June 2023 than in Jan-June 2019.
  2. Ticket buyers are spending more on average per ticket, although fewer tickets are being sold overall.
  3. Overall, new audience members now account for 62% of orchestra ticket buyers, compared to 50% in 2019.  Many orchestras have an opportunity to build loyalty within a fresh audience, both from these new visitors and from lapsed ticket buyers returning to concerts for the first time since the pandemic.
  4. The percentage of tickets purchased by younger patrons, as well as those with lower incomes and levels of educational attainment, has increased as the trend towards single ticket purchasing has gathered pace. However, while Gen X and Millennial audiences now account for a greater percentage of ticket purchases than they did before the pandemic, older ticket buyers are leaving faster, resulting in a net loss.
  5. The proportion of tickets sold to Asian and Hispanic audience members was only slightly higher in 2022 than in 2019, and the proportion of tickets sold to Black audience members did not increase at all.  For many orchestras, there is an opportunity to build a more racially diverse audience, by building strong community partnerships, programming responsively, and creating a welcoming audience experience.
  6. Individual donation revenue decreased by 4% between 2019 and 2023, and the demographic diversity of individual donors has remained static.  However, many orchestras are seeing a broadening base of community support, with more individuals making donations so far in 2023 than in 2019, albeit at a lower level.  Orchestras have an opportunity to address the individual donor revenue gap by furthering the engagement of their newly acquired donors, and by listening and responding to the interests of a diverse range of new prospects in their own communities.

Results are representative only of the 40+ (mainly medium and large budget) League member orchestras currently participating in the TRG Arts & Culture Benchmark.

Orchestras are welcome and encouraged to join the Arts & Culture Benchmark at any time.

Learn More

Watch an on-demand recording of TRG’s Eric Nelson discussing the September 2023 Orchestra Report with orchestras participating in the Arts & Culture Benchmark.

Explore a curated selection of relevant articles, webinars and podcasts about audience growth and audience diversification in orchestras, by visiting the League resource centers.

Join the Benchmark

Sign up to the free Arts and Culture Benchmark to gain access to real-time audience and donor analytics, allowing you to track the impact of your audience and donor initiatives over time, and to compare your progress with peers.   

The Benchmark works via an automated connection between your own CRM and TRG’s system: once set up, there is no maintenance required (and no surveys to complete!).  

Benchmark members also become part of a cohort of more than 40 data-driven orchestras that meet quarterly with TRG Arts to review and discuss the latest trends in orchestra ticket sales, revenues, and giving. Learn more and sign up to be part of this exciting initiative.

Orchestra Patron Data November 2021

“Orchestras in Recovery: Ticket Sales and Donation Trends, 2019-2021” captures the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on orchestra audiences, highlighting data from 27, mostly larger-budget, U.S. orchestras that participated in the TRG-Arts COVID-19 International Sector Benchmark, between Spring 2020 and Fall 2021.

This report is part of the League’s commitment to sharing data-driven analyses of the key issues shaping the work of orchestras today. Discover the latest findings from our audience data partnerships on our Data Partnerships page.

Learn Marketing & Communications

October 26, 2021

Returning to Performances with Live Audiences

TRG Arts discusses emerging best practices around building and retaining audiences during this rebound season in this 60-minute webinar weaving industry data insights with up-to-the-minute case study examples from Grant Park Music Festival, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Returning to Performances with Live Audiences READ MORE

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