Concert and attendance numbers from season 2000-01 to 2020-21

Image: Concert and attendance numbers from seasons 2000-01 to 2020-21
The 2020-21 season data document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on orchestra operations. Concert and attendance figures declined significantly.

The theatre statistics of the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein) show the number of concerts and attendance figures of the orchestras for each season. Between 2008-09 and 2018-19, the total number of concerts averaged 9,155 per season, and attendance was approximately 5.4 million. The figures of the 2019-20 season, which was marked by a nationwide lockdown of cultural institutions and subsequent restrictions on performances as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic from March 2020, was already below average. The 2020-21 season was completely dominated by the pandemic.

34 independent concert orchestras performed a total of 1,669 concerts in 2020-21, of which 82 % were local and 18 % were non-local. 65 theatre and eight radio orchestras reported 2,384 and 581 concert events respectively. In total, the attendance of concert, theatre and radio orchestra's was 874,131.

Concerts and attendance of publicly financed orchestras
Table: Concerts and attendance of publicly financed orchestras


The theatre statistics are based on a written survey of publicly financed theatres and orchestras regarding their business operations (venues, range of events, attendance figures, staff, financing). As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons are not comparable and therefore do not provide any information on the general development of the orchestras. Instead, the concert and attendance figures for these seasons are compared with the development up to 2018-19 in order to illustrate the extent of the pandemic impact. The figures in the time line are not always comparable with each other, for some venues could not be used owing to construction work and/or the collected data is incomplete owing to lack of responses, especially in the earlier years and during the pandemic. Moreover, the radio ensembles were included only as of the 2005-06 season, and then only sporadically at first. Further, the attendance figures also include non-local events of concert orchestras as of the 2008-09 season, which partly explains the increase in attendance.



  1. The season data illustrate the extent of corona protection measures on concert operations. Since March 2020, these have repeatedly led to restrictions on concert operations or the closure of venues.
  2. As defined by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (concert orchestras and theatre orchestras with a separate budget).
  3. As defined by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (orchestras integrated in theatres and lacking a separate budget). Only local concerts in the orchestra’s own premises are listed.
  4. Including some non-local concerts. The overall increase in events and attendance from the 2005-06 season on is partly explained by the fact that radio orchestras were included for the first time. See above note.
  5. Concert orchestras are included with attendance at non-local events as of the 2008-09 season. Attendance at non-local events is also included in some cases for the radio orchestras.

Source information

Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from the various issues of Theaterstatistik, published annually by the German Theatre and Orchestra Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein).