New Report Finds UK Orchestras are Working More but Earning Less

A new report published has revealed that Britain’s top orchestras are reaching more people but are continuing to decline in revenue

London Orchestras Work Hard

A new report published today has revealed that Britain’s top orchestras are reaching more people through concerts and youth engagement than ever before - but are continuing to decline in overall revenue.

Commissioned by the Association of British Orchestras, the study found that the UK’s leading orchestras delivered more than 4,000 concerts to almost 5 million people in 2016 - a 35% increase since 2013.

Despite the achievement, the report found that orchestras have however suffered a 5% drop in total income within the same period - attributed to discount ticketing, free public performances and public funding cuts.

“Orchestras have innovated to achieve bigger audiences and engage more young people and they should be proud of these successes … however, the survey masks a greater reality … these larger audiences do not bring in more money and, if anything, actually increase losses ...” Association of British Orchestras Director Mark Pemberton has said.

“Many of the achievements have been fueled by audience development initiatives such as discounted ticketing, free concerts and fixed fee performances at open air events … these have left orchestras suffering a double whammy – a decline in earned income alongside significant cuts in public funding … the message is simple … orchestras cannot continue doing more for less,” he has said.