Outdoor Arts attract a wide-ranging and diverse audience

This article is from the ISAN website http://www.isanuk.org/makingthecase/facts-figures/

We post it here because its great information!

Key Facts & Figures

Over the past two years of Audience Finder (2013-2014), it has become a consistent and demonstrable fact that OA events attract a wide-ranging and diverse audience that is representative of the total population.

The headlines from this year’s report are as follows:

  • All Ages: OA is remarkably successful at attracting an audience of all ages, and is particularly strong in theyounger (16-24 & 25-34) and middle range (35-44 and 45-54) ages. This is much more marked than for other art form audiences.
  • Ethnically Diverse: OA audiences represent a broad range of people from different ethnicities, more representative of the population as a whole compared with other art form sectors. Worthy of note is an increase in the ‘White Other’ category, recent residents coming from Europe and Eastern Europe in particular.
  • Less engaged: OA attracts all audience profiles from those with the highest engagement with the arts to those with the least engagement. It is unusual to see such high representation from  the latter, demonstrating the capacity for OA to reach an audience that other art forms rarely reach.  While many OA audience members had attended a range of artistic activity in the given year, there is a significant proportion 10% – who had not attended any other arts activity. Not even cinema.
  • Reasons for attending: The top motivations ‘to be entertained’ and to ‘spend time with friends and family’sit alongside the other motivators of ‘to enjoy the atmosphere’,  ‘to do something new/out of the ordinary’and ‘to be inspired’ which helps us understand the combination of factors for marketing OA events.
  • Social Benefits: Many people attended as part of groups – adults or family groups- with a comparatively high 22% of people in multi-family groupings. A direct link to the motivations for attending.
  • High-quality experiences: there is a high degree of satisifaction for the events offered, and audiences rate OA events highly across a range of areas including the quality of the performances and the experience overall, with 97% rating the experience ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
  • Local: OA audiences a are predominantly local – 69% of audiences travel from within a 20 mile radius – indicating a strong connection between place, community and outdoor events.
  • Connections with place: one of the most notable characteristics of OA is the way in which it appears to contribute to pride in place and its active role in encouraging community cohesion. 70% of people strongly agreed with the statement that ‘the event is good for the area’s image’. Given that the majority of people in the audience appear to be relatively local, this implies that events affect a sense of ‘local pride’. It may also affect cultural tourism, with the event potentially linked to good perceptions of the area thus giving people a reason to visit.
  • Cultural Tourism: Of those visiting from outside the area, the OA event was the main drive for their visit. While in the area they engaged in a range of activities: 59% visited a restaurant/café, 49% visited a pub/bar, 39% engaged in shopping, and 21% took part in another arts/cultural activity. This shows some positive indications towards impact on local economies.

Many of these results are already well known to OA practitioners and programmers, but it is important to celebrate and acknowledge these as the essential hard data needed to help the sector capitalise on its important contributions.

ISAN is currently developing an Outdoor Arts Advocacy Toolkit to help our members and the wider sector ‘make the case’ for greater support and investment.  Until then, please feel free to use the above data and the ACE Advocacy Toolkit as a framework to help develop your individual cases for support.

To download the full Audience Agency Year 2 report, please click here.

To be involved in Audience Finder Year 3, please click here.

Posted in Street Arts Articles, UK Arts News
One comment on “Outdoor Arts attract a wide-ranging and diverse audience
  1. New research confirms that outdoor arts events draw wide support among local audiences from diverse economic and social backgrounds.

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