Wellbeing and willingness to return: findings from the third wave of the Covid-19 participation monitor

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Wellbeing and willingness to return: findings from the third wave of the Covid-19 participation monitor

By The Audience Agency


What is the impact on the nation’s wellbeing, and when will audiences be returning? 

Despite the vaccine rollout, there remains a hesitancy to return amongst audiences, with a continuing sense of risk to health and only slow rises in cultural engagement.

In first findings from the third wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor, The Audience Agency dig deeper into why this might be, as well as looking at the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s wellbeing and early indications of changes to audience behaviour post-pandemic.

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 third wave of the nationwide Covid-19 Cultural Participation Monitor, with fieldwork taking place online from 4 to 10 June 2021. It presents evidence to support the following:

  • Audiences are proving slow to want to return, citing concern about the health of themselves and others.
  • People are feeling more lonely and less satisfied with their lives than before the pandemic, but the Arts were believed to help improve wellbeing
  • Audiences are showing signs that they may stay more local to attend various types of arts and culture
  • Of those audiences digitally engaging in culture during the pandemic, substantial proportions are happy for this to become the norm even after Covid-19

Read the full report to find out why there is considerable potential for engagement patterns post-Covid to be different than what they were before.

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 third wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor (June 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