The Sunday Times says

Captive audiences artistes can tap

The Singapore Cultural Statistics report documents some encouraging trends for arts, culture and heritage. Released by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth last week, the report showed arts and culture events and museums drawing record numbers in 2019. Attendance at arts and culture events reached a record 15.6 million, beating 2018's boom of 13.6 million. Visitorship at museums and heritage institutions reached almost 9.6 million.

Look closer, however, and there are some worrying indicators. The rise in attendance was powered by non-ticketed events - a phenomenon since 2013. The biggest drivers are large-scale events, such as the Singapore Heritage Festival and Singapore Night Festival, which are free. Another statistic presenting cause for concern is that while ticketed attendance for performing arts reached nearly two million, the second highest since 2013, total gross takings actually fell to $79.9 million from $92.1 million in 2018. These statistics suggest some cracks in the scene which need to be mended. The ministry cautioned that the report for 2020 will see a sharp dip in figures due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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