Safety concerns and a festive season in risk? Findings from the fourth wave of the Covid-19 participation monitor

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Safety concerns and a festive season in risk? Findings from the fourth wave of the Covid-19 participation monitor

© Photo: The Lowry in Lockdown, Nathan Chandler

By The Audience Agency


As audience concern about increasing Covid cases grows, what does this mean for the festive season?

Despite an uptick in people’s general wellbeing and life satisfaction, latest findings show a growing concern amongst audiences about falling ill, and an expectation of further lockdowns, resulting in high numbers of people either not comfortable or not interested in returning to cultural events anytime soon.

In first findings from the fourth wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor, The Audience Agency dig deeper into why this might be and the implications for the upcoming festive season, as well as looking at the safety measures that audiences care most about, and what the continued work from home trend means for audience intentions.

This report from The Audience Agency shares findings from a nationwide survey, the Cultural Participation Monitor. It is part of a wider national research programme that is building a robust and in-depth picture of the impacts of Covid-19 on the UK’s cultural sector.

This report details the initial findings from the fourth wave of the nationwide Covid-19 Cultural Participation Monitor, with fieldwork taking place online from 8 to 18 September 2021. It presents evidence to support the following:

  • Audiences remain low in their desire to want to return, amidst lingering Covid safety concerns, and worries about the unsafe behaviour of others.
  • Wellbeing is improving a little, however large numbers of people expect further lockdowns this year and next.
  • People expect to continue working from home, which will likely result in increased local attendance
  • People expect to engage less with arts, culture and heritage in the coming months, signalling a challenging season ahead for venues.

Read the full report to find out more about which safety measures are most important to audiences, and where people plan to attend in the future.

The Covid-19 Cultural Participation Monitor is a research survey that samples thousands of people from all UK regions and walks of life, adding insight about the wider public's changing views on participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic.

It will take place in several waves so that changes in attitudes, behaviours and intentions can to be plotted accurately as the crisis evolves. This report is based on data from the fourth wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor (September 2021).

This report is part of a wider research programme led by the Centre for Cultural Value in collaboration with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and The Audience Agency. This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through UK Research and Innovation’s COVID-19 rapid rolling call.

Published: 2021
Resource type: Research