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12th March 2020 Carol Jones

Taking an audience snapshot #ADA


The second blog by Kim Watson, Digital Marketing Manager, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  as part of her Fellowship at the Audience Diversity Academy 

The next step of my first experiment was taking an audience snapshot from the Sheku Kanne-Mason concert performed on the 12 January 2020. The concert was performed by the London Mozart Players and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Fairfield Halls performing the following repertoire:  MOZART Symphony No. 31, K. 297 ‘Paris’ , SAINT-SAËNS Cello Concerto in A minor, RAVEL Pavane & BIZET Symphony in C.

In addition to the above concert there was the added value features of a pre-show performance from Croydon Music & Arts young musicians who performed a 10-minute cello concerto in the main atrium, just before the concert (see below).  There was also a Meet The Artist CD signing with Sheku, who’s new CD from Decca had just been released (See LMP Facebook post below). Both proved to be very popular with the audience.

It was the perfect vantage point to observe and start my audience research

Here is what I was able to record

Ethnicity– Although about 30% of the concert attendees entering were from BAME community (from above count), between 20-25% of the concert audience in the stalls and were BAME. The front & middle stalls had fewer BAME audience members than the rear section. The boxes were 50/50. I could not see if anyone was in the rear balcony area.

Gender – At an approximate guess the audience was 48/52 M/F

There was a high presence of attendees in couples (mostly white middle age/older, but some BAME). A lot of families from BAME community were noticeable. Some of the performers from pre-concert had attended the concert with family members.  Some families were three generational. There were quite a few BAME mothers and daughters, or women in pairs. Most BAME men in attendance were with their family or a female partner. The queue for the CD signing in the interval had a very diverse make-up giving a clear artists fan-base indicator.

Key learnings for informing our future events and programming decisions

  • This event felt very much accessible to all. Starting with a warm and welcoming speech by Julia Desbruslais, Sub-Principal Cellist and LMP Executive Director, who introduced the evening and the importance of having Sheku Kanneh-Mason perform, in inspiring young people to take up playing music.
  • The timing of the concert with the release of the Decca CD clearly had a positive impact on ticket sales/attendance.
  • With this being a weekend night, family attendance was high and may be an opportunity for promoting our next concerts too.

This now feeds into the final two steps of my ADA course deliverables.

STEP 2–  Via Croydon BME Forum’s Lee Townsend we are exploring opportunities to promote our 22 Feb concert. The concept being to call out to the CULTURALLY CURIOUS IN CROYDON! Lee has sent a ticket offer to his network of young carers and Off The Record youth group too.

STEP 3Will be to measure results in take-up and audience make up on Sat 22 Feb, depending on out-come of step 2. (See my final Blog for the results).


Kim Watson, Digital Marketing Manager, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  

| Published:2020

Smart tags: Audience Diversity Academy ADA audience research diversity