Canadians’ Experiences Attending Arts Presenter and Festival Activities
Participation, Appreciation, and Motivation
This report examines audience motivations for attending and experiences at 24 music festivals and concert series funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Arts Presentation Canada program in 2008-09. Over 2,000 onsite interviews were conducted with paid attendees who had previously attended the same event. The survey respondents could be considered “enthusiastic” attendees.
Regarding motivations for attendance, many respondents chose “overall enjoyment”, as well as the “variety of musical styles” and the desire “to spend quality time with friends”.
When asked about changes in program offerings, a strong majority of survey respondents (82%) perceived an increase in at least one type of performance, especially the variety of music (including more “shows featuring artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds” and more young or emerging musicians). Respondents indicated that these changes in programming have had a positive impact on their festival or event experiences.
Respondent’s awareness of outreach activities available to them “ranged dramatically depending on the activity, with awareness of events that are free to the public at a high 70% and awareness of performances and activities in schools or community centres at a much lower 36%”. One-half of respondents participated in at least one outreach activity. Respondents were selective in their outreach activities, participating in about one out of every five outreach activities available to them. Those respondents who did attend at least one outreach activity indicated that these activities added to their enjoyment of the festival or concert. The study finds that “the more deeply patrons are involved with outreach activities, the more positive their experience is likely to be”.