City Recital Hall

Benchmarking & Business Development


The City Recital Hall (Angel Place, Sydney) has a capacity of 1,238 seats and was designed for sound quality. The quality of sound enhances enjoyment by audiences of soloists, chamber musicians, popular musicians and  spoken word. While the primary income of the City Recital Hall is providing a venue for concerts, it has important additional income streams through corporate hire, community events, box office and catering.  

The Task

At the end of the management contract, the City of Sydney wished to compare a range of performance measures over the last one to two years with five to six similar venues in other Australian capital cities or regional centres. The purpose of this comparison was to consider a range of options to raise paying usage levels with the aim of reducing the subsidy in running costs.  

The Result

We gathered a broad range of data from comparable venues in Australia and overseas. The range of characteristics in relation to location, fit-out and construction made the venue unique, so a wider range of venues was used to create a broader palette, with comparisons covering the two principal markets of fine music and corporate functions.      

The breadth of comparisons meant that segments where the City Recital Hall had an advantage in each market could be identified. It was important that the primary focus should always be the presentation and development of fine music, so the more defined the suitable corporate function market segments were meant less effort diverted to achieving this income stream.  

A clear picture emerged and the strategic focus provided for the City of Sydney meant fine music usage increased over the next contract period, while the subsidy decreased.  

Cobalt59 completed the business development process, prepared and ran the tender process, and negotiated the management contract with the successful tenderer.  

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