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Russians and access to culture related activities

Bashkirova and partners independent research apopular various cultural leisure activities are with our people.

In this study we were asking our respondents to define this accessibility across the following parameters: ticket cost, availability of the relevant infrastructure and facilities of culture and free time they have to spare.


Since the beginning of ХХth century Russia has been globally famous for its theatrical traditions. How much theatre going is accessible, available and affordable to Russians and do they often choose this type of leisure activity these days?

Three quarters of our citizens (75%) are able to afford buying a theater ticket today. Somewhat less number of respondents (67%) confess that going to a theatre is an appealing type of cultural entertainment. It’s remarkable that, this being said, nearly the same percentage – 65% of Russians interviewed did not go to a theatre for a play or opera even once during 2014.

What stood in their way then? A third of interviewed (33%) have pointed to ticket high cost as a main reason, 30% - lacking spare time, and a quarter of respondents (25%) had no chance to attend a theatrical performance for their place of residence being remote from a next to door theater (or at least a theater they would like to go to). The percentage of those who, for some reason or another, have failed to buy a ticket, is the biggest in the retired people. This is by 10 p.p. higher than the mean value. It’s also remarkable that the greatest share of respondents attending performances regularly is made of young people (under 25 y.o.) and middle age people (under 40). This enables us to think of this kind of leisure as of one of fashion.

And of course, the percentage of rural area residents as well as Russians with low education level not being theater-goers is noticeably higher compared to urban dwellers having higher education (in both cases the difference makes up 14 p.p.).


Absolute majority of Russians has the possibility to go to a cinema. Moreover 75% have stated they had interest to watching big screen movies. About 40% of respondents not a single time attended a cinema last year, which is as twice smaller value as compared to percentage of Russians who love movies and who able to enjoy this kind of leisure activity. Amongst reasons for not cinema-going, the first indicated is ticket cost (evidently compared to other kinds of leisure activities). The same percentage of the interviewed audience have pointed to remote location of cinemas as a reason, 70% have said they had no time to spare. People between 18 and 40 of age make the most cinema visiting part of Russian citizens. The least often cinema-goers are discovered certainly within the retired category. Urban dwellers having easier access to relevant cultural infrastructure visit cinemas more often (by 17 p.p.) vs. rural residents. 


Three fourth of Russians (75%) can afford going to a concert of their favorite performer or band. At the same time 63% have never over the year attended such an event. This is actually not a surprising thing, since those are mostly the young who make the audience for gigs of pop-stars. Thus, while we find 46% amongst the young between 18 and 24 of age, who have not a single time attended a concert over the year, within the retired this percentage is 75%. Amongst the youngest respondents 13% used to go to concerts 3-5 times over last year. This percentage is only 4% within the retired age respondents.


The absolute majority of Russians – 85%, are sure they have the possibility of buying a ticket to attend a museum or visit an art gallery. Two thirds (70% ) admit visiting a museum is of interest to them, but at the same time 65% did not ever go even to an exhibition in 2014. A third of respondents (35%) have said they had no free time, 28% can’t visit a museum for its remote location from where they live, 15% had to admit museum ticket cost was rather high, their household budget considered.


Analyzing respondents’ responses to all the questions we can notice some contradiction here, where respondents declare accessibility and affordability of going to a theatre or museum as well as their interest towards the leisure activity kind mentioned, but at the same time two thirds of them have never over year snatched on the chance to use the availability of this cultural leisure time spending. We may assume we are facing a vivid example of conformist responses: Russian citizens feel ashamed to tell an interviewer, that despite having the geographic, financial access to culture oriented leisure spending, it in fact, appears of no interest to them.  Not willing to look boors in the eye of a stranger, they are declaring their having interest in culture and culture related leisure activities, but in the real world, prefer other kinds of leisure and rest.


This study was conducted in February 2015 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes up 2,5%. Credible interval is 95%.gency has completed a research which had to explore how much cultural opportunities and facilities appeared accessible to Russian citizens as well as to find out how 


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