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Evaluation Report 2010

82 exhibitors 9 performers 3 exhibitions/installations


Burnley Community Festival is an annual event taking place every August at Queen’s Park in the centre of Burnley, it is now in its eighth year. “The festival is a physical demonstration of Burnley celebrating and being positive.”

Kath Bill, Faith Tent

The festival was set up so that residents and visitors can

celebrate what makes Burnley special. An important part of

the day is the number of community groups that participate

to promote the great work they do in the borough throughout the year.

The festival sees large numbers of residents attending to hear bands play, take part in various activities and find out more

about what’s going on in the town throughout the year. It’s set up to attract all ages and the diverse communities who live in

Burnley. Findings from consultation show residents credit the festival as being a safe and accessible environment for their

families. Local provision, community and faith groups use the event as a way to engage with residents and inform them of

their services, as well as network and make new connections with other organisations.

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The 2010 Burnley Community Festival took place on Sunday 22nd August from 12noon – 5pm. It was attended by 4,600 people. The majority came from Burnley and its surrounding areas. However the festival also attracted people from Preston, Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn and London. Those travelling in from other areas

primarily came for specific acts such as a band or a performance. It was noted that members of the

public were attending the festival and staying longer than in previous years, demonstrating a higher

level of engagement with activities and the day. Many tents and exhibitors had interested people right up until the end of the day. The festival was laid out to provide access to all parts of the park where

the council and other providers were able to give information about their services, interspersed with participative activities and band performances on a central stage. There was a total of:

* 82 exhibitors * 9 performers * 3 exhibitions/installations These were all housed across the site in tents including ‘Community,’ ‘Faith,’ ‘Youth,’ ‘Healthy Living’

and ‘Dance & Drama.’ Organisations within the tents included groups such as Building Bridges, Burnley Youth Theatre, UCLAN, Groundwork, Friends of the Earth, woodland activities, Burnley Camera Club, churches and mosques, East Lancashire PCT and many more. Comments from attendees included

positive feedback about the diversity and range of activities that were at the festival. During the day 247 people completed an evaluation form. The following data was collated:

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Who attended?

* 41% Female

* 59% Male

Have you attended the festival before?

* 59% Yes

* 41% No

“I feel safe here, which is good for my son.�

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How old are the visitors?

15% 31-40 yrs

5% 51-60 yrs

2% 70+ yrs

3% 61-70 yrs 21% 0-10 yrs

24% 11-20 yrs

13% 21-30 yrs

17% 41-50 yrs

Which ethnicity groups attended?

80% White British 0.8% Mixed White Asian

17% Asian Pakistani

0.4% Black Caribbean

0.4% Black Other

1% Mixed White Caribbean

1.2% Other

Please note approximately 89% of Burnley residents are White British and 9.8% are from minority ethnic groups (the majority of which are Pakistani) demonstrating a fair representation of the area at the festival. 4


Impact and Outcomes

“I feel the festival gives people in the town the chance to see some of the good work that is being done. Many people will not come across this otherwise.” Exhibitor

Burnley Action Partnership’s goal is:

“To achieve a Burnley we can all be proud of. A Burnley that will become a place with a diverse and

united community, a modern economy, a healthy, safe and clean environment and quality services which work together for the good of the public.”

The Burnley Community Festival is a demonstration of the realisation of this goal, as evidenced by people’s comments through evaluation on the day and following it.

“It’s a great way to see how people are contributing to the community.”

“There’s no trouble…. They’re not being rowdy, no one’s being destructive. They’re all taking part... They’re enjoying it.”

“The event is important because it brings all ethnic races together which is very important in multicultural Britain.”

Burnley Council’s strategic plan under the ‘People’ theme, ‘Creating Opportunities and Sustaining Ambition’, has some key objectives which the festival was able to fulfil:

Developing opportunities: The festival gave residents a chance to find out about local provision and

show interest in taking part in community groups throughout the year. The festival organisers benefited from 62 volunteers on the day and were pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to local people.

Attendees commented that the festival provides them with new opportunities and experiences, such as circus skills and willow weaving.

A number of young people were involved in exhibiting as part of the youth council, sports provision, Christian Aid and other community and faith groups, demonstrating not only engagement but also participation in the festival.

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“It’s lots of fun and great for everyone.” “A good day out with the children.” Visitors’ quotes

Social and Community Cohesion: Attendees and exhibitors acknowledged the positive

atmosphere of the day, how diverse communities were engaging alongside each other and that the festival was accessible to all ages and community groups. The festival provided space for

organisations from a variety of groups to exhibit and inform the community of their work. The faith tent was a well-received element, where a number of faiths and beliefs were represented. The tent always had people in it, looking at the information and speaking to representatives. The tent’s organisers would like to see it grow next year and for more faith groups to be

involved and represented. The festival provided a space for the community to get together in an open-air environment, to engage in a number of activities and share common experiences with people.

59% of those asked were returners from previous years, demonstrating that they enjoy and value the event. Increase Participation in Cultural Activities: The festival provided a number of artistic and creative activities both through participation and as audiences, such as bands, circus skills

workshops, dance workshops and woodland activities. A majority of attendees said that the priority for next year’s festival should be participative activities (74% saying it was a top

priority) and performances (50% saying it was a top priority). This demonstrates that the

creative and cultural element is a vital and valued part of the festival. The dance tent was well

received with good audience numbers, including 57 people participating in their four separate workshops. The art installation ‘Bubble Gum Pop’ attracted 84 people ranging from babies up

to a 73 year old, 15% of whom had never taken part in cultural activity and 35% had only taken part once in the past year.

The festival also contributes towards achieving Every Child Matters goals of Staying Safe, Being Healthy, Enjoying and Achieving, Making a Positive Contribution and Achieving Economic Well Being.

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Assessment of quality and improvements, priorities for future events

When asked how much they agree with the statement: “Burnley Community Festival is an important event for the town and is much valued by attendees.� The festival was well received by attendees and exhibitors, finding the

organisation and programming to be excellent. It was noted that many

community groups approached the festival organisers to be involved, unlike

previous years where festival organisers spent more time generating interest. A diverse selection of groups were represented, however it was pointed out

that there were still some missing, and room for them will need to be made. A method to encourage the community groups to be more interactive,

* 54% strongly agreed

* 46% agreed * 0% disagreed

finding ways for more additional participation is something the festival

tries to develop each year. Feedback from attendees said that some of the

community tent tables were very information led, and would have benefited from more creative approaches to engaging interest.

People enjoyed the format of the festival and commented that the eclectic mix made it open to all ages, which was a priority for many attendees. The fact that the festival was free was important for some, however many would have been willing to pay a small entrance fee if required.

Comments for improvements for subsequent years included more opportunities for local musicians and young people to showcase their work. Young people attending wanted to see more rides and other sporting activities and more youth lead performances such as skateboarders and free running. Provision of food was highlighted as a weaker point to the festival and could have included local food and healthy eating options.

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A consideration for faith groups and the choice of Sunday (instead of Saturday), as well as the fact that it was Ramadan was also pointed out. Suggestions for

local businesses to exhibit their services, with some kind of charge involved, were suggested as a way of raising additional revenue and adding an extra dimension

to the festival. Key priority areas collated through evaluation with stakeholders, attendees and exhibitors include: Key priority areas z Broaden

the geography and improve the marketing and promotion of the festival.

Find ways to attract attendees from outside Burnley, so promoting the positive aspects of the town and encourage visitors. z While

maintaining the fact that it is a family event, work to increase and improve

the youth provision, through both activities on the day and in the ways young people might go about participating in the event itself e.g. school councils representing Burnley’s new colleges. z Find

a mechanism to provide recycling on the day - perhaps incorporating it with

an artist on site. z More

staffing and volunteers for the day to enable more participative activity to

happen.

z Improvements

to the stage – to minimise problems with power, sound etc.

z Continue

and increase the variety of organisations represented, activities, food and

z Continue

to provide a safe, healthy and diverse community friendly event that has

bands playing – with an emphasis on those being local. lots of things for people to take part in. z To

seek and secure funding sustainability, to realise the added value and potential

of the festival in coming years.

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Attendees were asked what their priorities were for the festival in the coming years, asking to rate from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important) Activities to take part in Family event Performances and something to watch A free event Activites for teenagers Sports activities Fairground rides

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Conclusion

“People talk of Burnley as being culturally divided, I didn’t witness that at all (at the festival)...there was no sense of negativity and conflict.” Nasreen Hassan, Youth Service

Burnley Community Festival was greatly enjoyed by attendees, and was a valuable event for both residents and community groups. The festival

provided an opportunity for people to connect with each other and increase understanding of what is available to them locally. It also gave a space

for Burnley to celebrate and share the positive aspects of the town. The festival has become a recognised element to the town’s summer events, which residents and organisations anticipate and look forward to. People who shared their views on the festival assume its existence will continue and hope to see it grow and become an intrinsic part of the culture and richness of the town.

“It’s obviously really well attended, which shows that there’s a lack of things like this going on, because as soon as there is something like this they’re here in force.” Burnley Resident Evaluation Methodology

This report has been compiled by Curious Minds, on behalf of Burnley Borough Council. Information gathered and represented in this report has been collated

through creative consultation methods, used to generate interest and gather an accurate response from attendees, community exhibitors, organisers and volunteers. Methods used included:

tVideo and audio records (a film is also available)

tAnalysis of children and young peoples’ poster designs

tComments and data were collected on the day through questionnaires and an informal comments wall for additional thoughts and feedback. Proceeding the festival information was gathered from exhibitors and performers through SurveryMonkey.

tStakeholder evaluation briefings both through consultation and over the phone

For further information…

Curious Minds, Lodge House, Cow Lane, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 1NN | t: 01282 435 835

Arts Development, Burnley Borough Council, Mechanics Theatre, Manchester Road, Burnley, BB11 1BH | t: 01282 664 413

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“The event is important because it brings all ethnic races together which is very important in multi-cultural Britain.” “It’s a great day, a good buzz…everyone’s enjoying the day. And the weather helps.” Burnley Action Partnership’s goal is:

“To achieve a Burnley we can all be proud of. A Burnley that will become a place with a diverse and united community, a modern economy, a healthy, safe and clean environment and quality services which work together for the good of the public.”

Written and compiled by Naomi Whitman, Creative Consultant photography by Andy Ford and Burnley Camera Club designed by www.grassrootscreative.co.uk


Burnley Community Festival Evaluation  

In August Burnley host a festival in Queens Park - this is an evaluation report of the festival. Compiled and written by Naomi Whitman

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