Creative Scotland Covid-19 research into arts and culture

This resource reports findings from the first stage of an ongoing research study into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on arts and culture, commissioned by Creative Scotland, and conducted by 56 Degree Insight. It involved a population survey conducted in July/August 2020 to investigate people’s intentions to return to cultural activity, potential barriers and enabling factors, changes in cultural consumption, and whether impacts differ across activities and locations. Insights could be taken from this research to inform understandings in other places, including English high streets and town centres.

Date added 21 October 2020
Last updated 21 October 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on arts and culture events and venues around the world. This resource reports findings from the first stage of an ongoing research study into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on arts and culture, commissioned by Creative Scotland and conducted by 56 Degree Insight. It involved a population survey conducted in July/August 2020 with a representative sample of 1033 people in Scotland, covering four key topics:

  1. When will audiences return to cultural activity?
  2. What are the main barriers or enabling factors to this return happening?
  3. How has consumption of arts activity changed as a result of lockdown?
  4. What differences exist between art forms, types of activity, or locations?

Key findings from this initial stage are summarised below, with further data capture planned up until January 2021.

Some key findings

  • 57% of the population missed going to cultural events and venues during lockdown.
  • During lockdown, most people engaged in cultural activity at home (96%), especially those who had engaged in cultural activities more often pre-lockdown, with the most common activities listening to music (81%), watching films (63%), and reading for pleasure (62%).
  • Significant numbers engaged in online cultural events during lockdown, such as online arts performances (21%), online arts classes (11%), and virtual content provided by museums and galleries (10%).
  • There is, however, an unwillingness to pay for online cultural activities going forwards, with only 19% willing to do so.
  • Over 2/3 of the population studied report being in no hurry, or did not plan, to return to cinemas, art galleries, live music events, or theatres any time soon. Those more comfortable to do so tend to be younger and/or have children at home.
  • There is more appetite for visiting places like country parks, bars and restaurants, and indoor shopping centres than sports centres, music gigs, cinemas and theatres.
  • Those surveyed indicated they would be more likely to return to cultural events and venues with restrictions on audience numbers (23%), physical distancing measures (24%), and socially distanced seating measures (23%).
  • 81% of people surveyed expressed interest in attending new types of arts and culture, such as drive-in-cinemas (35%), open air theatres (33%), and outdoor art exhibitions (16%).

For a more detailed overview of study findings, please see this presentation [external link]