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13th April 2013 Sara Lock

Assesing the impact of folk festivals

By: Morris Hargreaves McIntyre


A report highlighting the findings of a major research study that elicited responses from 4,294 adults during the summer of 2002, supported by a series of depth interviews with those working in the festivals sector, and quantitative audience data gathered from 31 festivals.  With analysis of the economic and social impacts of folk festivals, the needs of festival organisers, artistic and audience development practices, and recommendations for future development, this is a must read for anyone working in the folk music or festivals sector.

Some people might call folk ‘ a minority music’. Asked randomly, the simple question “ Do you like folk music?” might well elicit “no” or “ not much” as an answer. However, more and more people are turning on to folk without realising it, and these days the number of people choosing to attend folk and acoustic music events is increasing at an amazing rate.

Here are the facts:

  • 45% of attenders are under 35 years old.
  • 20% of all attenders are aged 19 or under, of whom 13% are aged 14 or over.
  • 48% of festivals report a recent increase in the number of young attenders.
  • 52% of attenders are women.
| Published:2013

Smart tags: impact festivals audience development

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