Fewer attended arts shows last year

Fewer attended arts shows last year
Indian dancers performing during the Singapore Youth Festival Celebrations on July 3, 2013. The crowds at ticketed performing arts shows and state museums thinned last year, after hitting record numbers in the previous year.

The crowds at ticketed performing arts shows and state museums thinned last year, after hitting record numbers in the previous year.

Latest government figures show attendance at ticketed performances fell to 1.95 million from an all-time high of 2.07 million in 2011. Gross takings, in turn, shrank to $80.6 million, from $102.9 million.

Explaining the decline, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said: "This was due to the market adjusting itself after the initial spike of popular musicals such as The Lion King and Wicked, brought in by the integrated resorts when they first entered the scene."

The ministry's annual Cultural Statistics report on Singapore's arts and cultural landscape gives the latest figures on dance, music, theatre, literary arts and heritage events.

On the heritage scene, total visitorship at the 10 museums run by the National Heritage Board (NHB) dipped to 2.83 million last year from a record 2.92 million a year earlier. This was before the Government's move to allow free entry into these museums from May this year for Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

Also down is the non-ticketed attendance at heritage events organised by the NHB.

One reason is NHB's "shift from large-scale events to more targeted ones with better quality of engagement", said the ministry in a statement.

Despite the decline, the latest figures show that museum visitorship and ticketed attendance at performing arts events has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

Government spending on the arts and culture also rose about 10 per cent from 2011 to $478.9 million last year.

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