Letter: The sum of ticket sales

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The Independent Online
Sir: Patrick Boylan is wrong to accuse us of underestimating audiences for the theatre and visual arts (Letters; 'Arts Council statistics tell only half the story',

18 November). He has misunderstood the figures published in the Arts Council annual report on

15 November.

The figures given in our annual report ('Arts events hold their appeal in recession', 16 November) represent the estimated number of British adults who attend arts events, based on the British Market Research Bureau 1992/93 Target Group Index survey.

The information is based on the percentage of a sample of 25,000 adults who currently go to each of a variety of types of arts event. Professor Boylan's figures in fact represent the numbers of tickets sold.

Although the art gallery and theatre attendance figures collected by Professor Boylan's department are no doubt accurate, they are attendance figures, not figures of attenders.

It is likely that our 10 million theatre attenders (by going to the theatre two or three times in the year), along with foreign visitors and children under the age of 15, made up Professor Boylan's 23 million tickets sold.

Yours sincerely,

ANTHONY EVERITT

Secretary-General

The Arts Council of

Great Britain

London, SW1

19 November

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