Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cultural event attendance has increased, but still below 2019 levels

Public attendance at cultural events in Mexico has grown year-on-year since the pandemic low-point of 2020–2021, but remains 9.1% below 2019 levels, as more people apparently express disinterest in attending such events.

These are the conclusions of the Selected Cultural Events Module (Modecult), part of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). Modecult surveyed 2,336 households across the country in May and presented its results on Thursday.

Dance events have been the worst affected by the attendance downturn. (Galo Cañas Rodríguez /

Modecult found that 48.7% of respondents attended at least one cultural event in the last 12 months, up from 17.3% in 2021 and 41.2% in 2022. However, the number remained significantly below the 57.8% recorded in 2019.

The gender gap in attendance also widened: in 2019, male attendance of cultural events was 2.9 percentage points higher than female attendance. In 2023, the gap had grown to 7.9 percentage points. Types of cultural events mentioned in the survey included plays, live music and dance performances, art exhibitions and film screenings. 

Although all showed a decrease in attendance since 2019, dance events were the hardest hit. Only 7.5% of people said they had attended a dance performance in the last year, compared to 13% in 2019.

By contrast, cinema was the cultural activity with the greatest attendance, with 42.3% of respondents watching a film in theaters in the last year — although this remained lower than the 51% recorded in 2019.

Mexican film production
Cinema attendance was the highest recorded activity, according to the INEGI survey. (Imcine)

Young people were by far the most likely to attend cultural events, the survey found. In the 18–24 age range, 77% of respondents reported attending a cultural event in the last 12 months, compared to only 20% among people over age 65. Modecult did not survey children.

Disinterest in cultural events increased across all categories. Modecult found that 17.6% of people reported no interest in attending a film screening, compared to 11.6% in 2019. Dance again fared the worst, with 47.4% of people reporting no interest in attending a performance, compared to 39.9% in 2019.

Respondents said that the factors most likely to boost their attendance at cultural events were low-cost tickets (43.2% of respondents), events being close to their homes or workplaces (20.7%) and events taking place on the weekend (18.1%).

One of the strongest predictors of event attendance was encouragement during childhood. Among respondents who said they had participated in extracurricular cultural activities as children, 75.1% reported attending a cultural event in the last year.

With reports from El Economista

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