Threads Orchestra Tour July 2011 Market Research Findings
30 August 2011 Prepared by Diana Marsland
2. Research brief
4. Overview of respondent comments
3. Sample and methodology 5. Audience profile
5.4 Ethnic group
7. Previous experience of similar events
8. Attendance at similar events in future
10. Conclusions and recommendations
6. Enjoyment of the event
Tour publicity poster
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Key findings x
Nearly half (47%) the audience completed a questionnaire which is an unusually high response rate illustrating a high level of engagement with Threads Orchestra's performance. This is further underlined by 90% of respondents choosing the highest enjoyment rating and 99% saying they would attend a similar event in future. These are exceptionally high figures.
Approximately one third of respondents bought a CD and also provided their email address to be kept informed of similar events (25% and 32% respectively).
The most commonly used words to describe the music performed was eclectic, highly original, jazz/classical and fusion.
The appeal of the event was in the skill and virtuosity of the musicians. In addition, the audience appreciated the banter and the 'obvious enjoyment of the musicians' as well as the intimacy between the audience and performers.
The age profile of the audience was predominantly aged 35+ and gender was evenly split. Almost all were White British and 5% indicated they had a long term disability.
The overwhelming majority (85%) thought the publicity gave a good description of the event. Word of mouth was most commonly cited as the source of information about the performance followed by promotion by the venues themselves.
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Threads Orchestra undertook a tour in Yorkshire during June 2011 with support from the PRS. The tour was felt to be an ideal opportunity to gain can understanding of audience profiles and Torchlite Ltd was commissioned for this research project. 2. Research Brief The brief was to gauge audience reaction to Threads Orchestra's performances and to generate insights for future tours. Specific interests included: x Understanding and appreciation of musical styles x What aspects of the performance had particular appeal x How effective the publicity was and how well it communicated the event. 3. Sample and methodology Five venues presented Threads Orchestra in June 2011: Alhambra Studio Bradford, 23 June Courthouse Otley, 24 June Zeffirelli¶s Ambleside, 25 June Pave Hull, Grassington Festival Fringe 26 June Treasurer's House York, 27 June The audience were asked to complete the questionnaire and a total of 117 were returned from an attendance of 248 yielding an overall response rate of 47%. 4. Overview of respondent comments There were three main themes that dominated respondent¶s enjoyment of the performance. 1) Musicianship The skill of the musicians, their virtuosity, accomplishment, musicality and professionalism. Also their enthusiasm, energy and liveliness. 2) Relationship/interplay The dynamic between the players and the banter between them was key to respondent¶s enjoyment of the performance. Their individual playing was admired along with their togetherness as a group.
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3) Visual appeal Watching the performers, their facial expressions and the interaction between them held a strong appeal for many. The venue and atmosphere also contributed to audience enjoyment (see Appendix i). The hat also had several admirers! Respondents were asked how they would describe the music and eclectic was the word most frequently used followed by jazz classical and fusion. There was a group of respondents who musically literate. One respondent astutely observed µIt would be difficult to describe if you¶d never heard the orchestra before¶. There were very few suggestions on how the performance could be improved and these were improving the sound mixing (instruments that could not be heard), the atonal nature of some pieces and several people felt the audiences should be bigger. The following is a representative selection of verbatim comments given by respondents. The individual talents shining through and being able to observe the artistes working together, happily. Its technicality and the interplay between the musicians. Watching you all think through and feel the music and your performance (along with the amazing sound). Very interesting and different. Highly original ± lively, atmospheric. Intimate venue;; music played by people who know what they¶re doing! The eclectic mix of jazz and classical instruments and music. Virtuosity ± being close to the performers. Very talented musicians. Jazz/classic/folk fusion. The obvious enjoyment of the musicians.
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5 Audience profile 5.1
The overall profile was spread across all age groups, from under 16 to 65+. As Table 1 shows, respondents were predominantly aged 35+ with a concentration in the 55-64 group. This was true for all venues expect Otley where the audience was polarised with one third aged 35-44 and another third aged 65+.
Age 40 35
30 25 20 %
15 10 5 0 <16
16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64
5.2 Gender The audience overall had a slight female bias but the average masks significant variances at individual venues: Bradford 63% male, Otley 89% female, Hull 63% female, York 59% male. Ambleside was an exact 50:50 split.
Gender 60 50 40 30
20 10 0 Male
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5.3 Disability Respondents were asked if they had a long term health problem or a disability and 5% indicated that they had. 5.4 Ethnic group As can be seen from the chart, µwhite British¶ was the predominant audience group.
Ethnic group White Mixed Chinese/other ethnic group %
Black Asian/British Indian Not stated 0
6. Enjoyment of the event The survey asked respondents to rate their enjoyment on a three point scale and the result shows virtually all choosing the highest rating.
Performance enjoyment Not stated A little %
Somewhat A lot 0
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7. Previous experience of similar events Respondents were asked whether they had been to a similar event in the area and just over half had. Once again, there were variances by individual venue. The majority of the audience in Bradford and Otley had been to similar performances while this was true for the minority in York. Hull and Ambleside were evenly split between those that had and had not. Have attended similar presentation 54% Have not attended similar presentation 46%
8. Attendance at similar events in future The questionnaire asked if people would attend similar events in future and the result clearly shows overwhelming audience support for future performances by Threads Orchestra. Would attend 99% Would not attend 1%
9. Value for money All respondents with just one exception felt the event was value for money.
10. Publicity Respondents heard about the performances from a wide range of sources. This was an unprompted question and across all venues, word of mouth was mentioned most frequently. Some people had seen little or no publicity and felt that there should have been more. Promotion by the venues themselves was also key. Zeffirellis' website and restaurant staff in the venue's restaurant were a very effective source of publicity. The National Trust newsletter, Hull, and Skipton festival programmes and also the Otley Courthouse programme were mentioned by a small number of respondents. Email was another source and examples cited were Jazz at the Preistley, NW Jazz and non-specific µmailing list¶. Online was mentioned by seven respondents and a further three mentioned Threads website.
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Respondents who attended the performance in Hull mentioned The Hull Daily Mail and radio was mentioned by respondents in Bradford. Other single mentions were posters (Otley and Bradford) and a flyer (Hull seen in York). The publicity gave a good description of the event as 87% of respondents agreed with this statement.
Conclusions and recommendations
The tour by Threads Orchestra generated a very high level of audience engagement and enjoyment demonstrated by the survey response se rate, purchase of CDs and provision of email addresses for information on future events. Feedback indicates that the interplay between musicians was a key aspect of enjoyment so all should be clearly visible by the audience. Evidence from this tour suggests that the strongest appeal is amongst older people with some knowledge of jazz/classical music. Venues with strong supporters aged 35-64 of jazz, classical and contemporary music are prime candidates for Threads Orchestra. A database should be developed and used to keep interested parties up to date with music, news and events (conforming with Data Protection and other regulatory guidelines, especially opting out). Communications should make it easy for supporters to share information with contacts. The web site should be optimized and regularly updated, at least monthly. Options include a forum for people to leave comments, blogs by orchestra members inviting comments and new videos/music tracks. Google Analytics should be set up to monitor what is bringing people to the web site. The performers were very effective in using their personal networks to build audience attendance and these should be used to maintain awareness and engagement with Threads Orchestra¶s activities. Social media, especially Twitter, could be used to test appeal to younger audiences, especially around the performance itself. This could be done with a Threads Orchestra account or with individuals using their own names with a common hashtag. Twitter can also be very useful in reaching journalists.
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Appendix iii Audience Survey Age Under 16 16 - 24 35 - 44 45 - 54 55 - 64 65+
Which of these describes your ethnic group? White Mixed Black or Black British Asian or Asian British Chinese or other ethnic group
Gender Male Female Do you have any long term illness, health problem or disability which limits your daily activities or the work that you do? Yes No Have you enjoyed the performance tonight? (Please circle as appropriate)
/ Not much
How would you describe the music?
What did you particularly like about the performance?
What, if anything, would you change about the performance?
Have you ever attended a similar event in this area? Yes No Would you attend similar events in the future? Yes No
Please turn over
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Where and how did you hear about this event?
Did the publicity give a good desciption of the event? Yes No If 'No' please suggest improvements
Yes No Do you feel this event was value for money? Have you bought a CD? Are you interested in pre-ordering the next CD release? Any other comments?
Please add your email address if you would like to hear about future performances or CD releases
Thank you for completing this survey
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Torchlite Â works Â with Â organisations Â to Â realise Â potential Â in Â the Â digital Â world Â as Â well Â as Â the Â physical Â one Â by Â through Â the Â opportunities Â created Â by Â social Â media. Â Â Sharing Â information Â through Â personal Â networks Â is Â trusted Â source Â and Â has Â more Â value Â than Â traditional Â one-Âway Â communications. Â Â As Â Trendwatching Â observed Â some Â years Â ago, Â FRQVXPHUVÂśGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSURFHVVHVZKLFKXOWLPDWHO\FRPHGRZQWR whether Â they Â will Â buy Â from Â you Â or Â from Â someone Â else, Â have Â truly Â shifted Â to Â a Â new, Â powerful Â peer-Âto-Âpeer Â arena. Â Torchlite Â was Â set Â up Â to Â help Â organisations Â understand Â changing Â attitudes Â and Â behaviours. Â Â We Â identify Â ways Â to Â engage Â with Â customers Â in Â a Â meaningful Â way;Íž Â to Â listen Â to Â whatÂśs Â being Â said Â in Â networks, Â forums, Â feedback Â and Â ratings;Íž Â and Â how Â to Â respond. Â Grounded Â in Â marketing Â and Â digital Â media, Â we Â focus Â on Â equipping Â business Â owners Â and Â directors Â with Â the Â knowledge Â and Â insight Â to Â engage Â with Â people, Â both Â in Â online Â and Â face Â to Â face Â networks. Â Â Â For Â further Â information, Â please Â contact Â Diana Â Marsland. Â Email: Â Â
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