Background Image

And the medal goes to . . . the Gold Coast

Two years out from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, we thought we'd look at some customised Australia Bureau of Statistics data recently published by the Australia Council about arts and cultural participation and attendance in Queensland. There are some interesting findings about the Gold Coast . . .

Did you know 85% of Queenslanders attend cultural venues and events

3.13 million Queenslanders attended at least one cultural venue or event in 2013-14.The five most popular arts and cultural choiceswere cinema, libraries, popular music concerts, museums and art galleries.

One quarter of all Queenslanders actively participate in arts and culture

895,000 Queenslanders (24.4%) actively participated in arts and cultural activities in 2013-14 according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Gold Coast has the highest arts participation numbers of any region in Queensland across all art forms.

This equates to approximately 12% of all arts and cultural participation in Queensland.

Gold Coast participation 


% of overall Queensland participation in artforms
Visual Arts 44,800 11%
Craft 36,000 10%
Performing arts 60,000 10%
Writing 32,000 14%
Other culture 20,000 13%
Total 441,100 12%
Participation - Overall '000s %
Gold Coast 441,100 12%
Brisbane South 278,600 8%
Sunshine Coast 265,000 7%
Logan/Beaudesert 242,300 7%
Ipswich 234,800 6%
Queensland total 3,673,900 100%












The Gold Coast also has the highest attendance numbers across all cultural venues and events except for galleries, libraries and archives. 

Brisbane South had the highest number of gallery attendances and Sunshine Coast had the highest attendances at libraries and archives.

What’s includes in participation and attendance?

Participaton Attendance
Total performing arts
Performed in a drama, comedy, opera or musical, including rehearsals
Performed in a cabaret or variety act, including rehearsals
Sung/played musical instrument as soloist or in band/choir/orchestra including rehearsals/classes
Participated in dancing, including rehearsals or classes
Arts venue or event
Art galleries
Written song lyrics, or mixed or composed music, including digital composition
Written any fiction or non-fiction, such as stories, poetry, scripts or blogging
Performing arts including:
Theatre performances
Dance performances
Other performing arts
Visual arts
Sculpting, painting, drawing or cartooning, including digital pieces
Printmaking, screen printing or etching
Photography, film-making or editing, apart from recording personal events
Total music including
Popular music
- Popular music performances
- Popular music performances in a pub, club or café
Classical music concerts
Musicals and operas
Jewellery making, textile, paper or wood crafts
Glass crafts, pottery, ceramics or mosaics
Environmental heritage includes:
Zoological parks, wildlife parks and aquariums
Botanic gardens
Other cultural activities
Designed websites, computer games or interactive software
Fashion, interior or graphic design
Other cultural includes:



















What is the data?

The Australia Council commissioned the Australian Bureau of Statistics to prepare its Cultural Attendance and Participation data to the sub-state geographic regions otherwise known as Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4). These are the smallest geographical areas for which the ABS arts and cultural attendance data can be made available in Australia.3

In regional areas, SA4s tend to have populations of between 100,000 to 300,000 people. In metropolitan areas, SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 – 500,000 people). See the ABS Fact sheet for more information.

For Queensland, it divides Brisbane into four regions (Brisbane – East, Brisbane – North, Brisbane – South, Brisbane – West, Brisbane Inner City) and then looks at Cairns, Darling Downs – Maranoa, Fitzroy, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan – Beaudesert, Mackay, Moreton Bay – North, Moreton Bay – South, Queensland – Outback, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville and Wide Bay.4


1. Australia Bureau of Statistics, Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2013-14.

2. Excluding botanical gardens and zoological parks and aquariums – that would fall in 2nd and 4th place respectively.

3. If you want to know more about the statistical regions see more technical detail here  For the first time we have access to this data broken down to the following sub-regions. As you might expect there are some relative standard errors of between 25% and 50% for some regions – for instance, classical music attendance in Cairns – so the ABS advises the data must be used with caution.

4. If you want to see the exact geographic boundaries of ABS SA4 go to scroll down and click on View the ASGS Boundaries Online demo


Peter Bloecker | 14/05/2016 | 11:13 PM

This is impressive, I had no idea at all and thought BNE would be the place to live...

Add a new comment