Australia's live entertainment sector in 2004 generated 12.5 million tickets worth A$689.6 million ($517.6m), a new report has revealed.

Australia's live entertainment sector in 2004 generated 12.5 million tickets worth A$689.6 million ($517.6m), a new report has revealed.

The Australian Entertainment Industry Assn.'s inaugural attendance and revenue survey shows the live sector is double the size than previously thought. Most recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicated national box office income from music and theater production organizations in 2002/2003 reached $331.6 million ($247.8 million).

The report is the first in-depth analysis of its kind in Australia. Until now, the sector has relied on data from the ABS. The AEIA's figures are drawn directly from transaction figures supplied by such ticketing companies as Ticketmaster, BASS and VenueTix.

The new survey covers 10 categories, including rock concerts, musicals, opera and classical concerts.

Brendan Schwab, CEO of the Melbourne-based AEIA, says the figures prove that the live sector is as big as the Australian movie industry. AEIA now plans to use the report to push for tax incentives for investors in the performing arts, similar to those who invest in the film industry. The trade body also plans to lobby against the red tape that foreign entertainers face when touring Australia.