We know that young people are the primary public when it comes to live events. According to CROP (2015), over the past two years, 41% of people aged 45 or older didn’t attend a festival event and 35% of them didn’t attend a sporting event.
Though we are nowhere near an apocalypse—no one is predicting a massive erosion of live events—the changes will be significant enough to force organizations to adapt in order to minimize the negative effects. On one hand, the aging population affects how people consume entertainment, and, on the other hand, the challenge of attracting a younger audience is becoming more of an issue for the sustainability of events.
Because baby boomers represent a large part of the population and have considerable wealth at their disposal, promoters can’t simply turn their backs on this aging clientele. A number of changes will need to be implemented to ensure that this target is comfortable, like maximizing seating and improving the quality of seats, presenting information in a legible fashion on site and improving transit.
Another consequence of the current demographic shift is that major events that have drawn huge turnouts in the past may see those crowds thin out in the coming years. Newer events arriving on the scene will be more niche in nature and won’t reach the same attendance levels as the larger-scale events did in previous years.
Professional American sports organizations tend to draw very homogenous audiences. That said, the NBA seems better poised for the future with 45% of its television viewers aged 35 or less. On the other end of the spectrum—and this will come as no surprise—the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has the oldest viewership (63% of its television viewers are aged 55+) and the lowest number of young viewers.