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    Show attendance in 2021: the public gradually returns to performance venues in a market under reconstruction

    Québec, October 6, 2022. – The gradual return of live performances in 2021 led to a 130% increase in the number of shows compared with 2020, a result that remains 40% below the 2015–2019 average. The public’s response resulted in a 34% increase in assistance (1.9 million) compared to 2020 (1.4 million), which was still far from the 2015–2019 average (7.6 million), before pandemic-related health measures were put in place. Ticket sales revenues dropped from an annual average of $287 million between 2015 and 2019 to $44 million in 2020 and $62 million in 2021. This was revealed in La fréquentation des arts de la scène en 2021 published today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    French song on the rise

    In 2021, French song shows stood out with a 152% increase in admissions over 2020, followed by theatre (+29%) and music shows (+25%). The recovery for English song shows was not as clear-cut, since it was impossible to present shows by foreign artists in very large venues in Québec for a good part of the year.

    Despite a clear rebound in 2021, no discipline was able to achieve results similar to those before the pandemic. With their strong performance, French song shows were the closest to their pre-pandemic results, but admissions still only represented 43% of the 2015–2019 average.

    Québec shows

    Québec shows across all disciplines attracted 1.8 million spectators in 2021, up 52% from 2020, but down 68% from the 2015–2019 average. In 2021, because they resumed earlier, Québec shows accounted for 96% of all performances, 92% of total attendance, and 81% of all ticket sales revenues, an unprecedented result since the survey began in 2004.

    Attendance up in most administrative regions

    For all regions of Québec, show attendance was up in 2021, but remained well below pre-pandemic levels. In the Montréal administrative region, attendance was down 82% from the 2015–2019 average, the largest drop among Québec regions.

    View the full publication (in French only)

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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