Impact of the cost-of-living crisis

Impact of the cost-of-living crisis

By Anne Torreggiani, The Audience Agency


Findings from The Audience Agency's Cultural Participation Monitor paint a predictably concerning picture of how people expect the cost-of-living crisis to affect their in-person cultural attendance.

October 2022

Through examining evidence about cost-of-living concerns from the latest wave of Cultural Participation Monitor data, this session discusses how potential audiences feel that their spend on leisure and entertainment activities is likely to change, and looks at which groups are expecting to cut back more than others.

Part of The Audience Agency's Tea Break series on talking evidence and audiences.


Almost half of people say that they are worse off now than they were pre-pandemic, and 81% are worried about the effects of the cost-of-living crisis on themselves and their households.


Almost half thepopulation (47%) are worse-off compared to pre-pandemic.


Most are worried about the cost of living and plan on reducing spending, including cutting back on leisure


cost of living chart


Over 50% say that they plan on cutting back on paid-for entertainment and leisure activities as a result, along with other non-essential expenses.

Most are expecting to decrease spend on entertainment and leisure, compared to pre-pandemic. 31% decreased a little. 28% decreased a lot.


Non-essential expenses were expected to reduce 'a lot'.


Typically mid-to-low engaged Audience Spectrum segments are the most concerned about the impact of cost-of-living, with family and less urban groups expecting to reduce out-of-home entertainment spend the most.

Cluster Chart


Cluster table


Cluster table 3


“These newest findings confirm the growing impact of the cost-of-living crisis on our sector. It’s shocking to find out that three quarters of the population are predicting that they will have less to spend on arts and culture. Keeping abreast of people’s changing priorities and habits are going to play a vital part in the sector’s resilience. We’re here to do that, to help organisations anticipate where the pressure points will be, to offer practical support in navigating them, to suggest how we can help our communities through the crisis. We’ll be returning to this topic in our next wave of the Cultural Participation Monitor, continuing to empower cultural organisations with relevant, high-quality, independent insight”

- Anne Torreggiani, CEO

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Audience Behaviour
Resource type: Research | Published: 2022