Venues face a choice between offering lower capacity events or losing up to a third of their audiences, surveys suggest.

Arts venues must consider reintroducing socially distanced performances to retain risk-averse audiences over winter.

New surveys show Covid-19 concerns are keeping a significant cut of audiences – between a fifth and a third – away from cultural organisations.

About a third of those who haven’t yet returned to venues aren’t planning to any time soon, according to the Insights Alliance of Indigo, Baker Richards and One Further.

Covid precautions may not be enough to reassure this group who, despite having been well engaged pre-Covid, are now also avoiding holidays, indoor dining and public transport at a higher rate than audiences who have returned.

However, nearly half of returnees expect to attend cultural events less often.

“I think that the stark reality is beginning to appear that even people who have been willing to return to cultural organisations are saying they will attend less frequently,” Indigo Founder Katy Raines said.

“There’s a group of people there who, until the [Covid-19] conditions change, just won’t come.”

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