National Classical Music Audiences
An analysis of Audience Finder box office data for classical music events 2014-2016
Audience Finder is the Arts Council England commissioned audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to grow audiences and revenues by sharing, comparing and applying audience insight. The aggregated dataset provides a unique and hitherto unavailable level of audience analysis and benchmarking across the nation, regions, organisations, artforms and performances.
An Audience Finder classical music cluster was set up in 2013-14 which agreed specific areas of focus. Those it has been possible to address in this report are:
What are audiences like? Using Audience Spectrum segmentation. o How do tastes differ?
What are the booking behaviours of classical music audiences?
- How frequently do people book?
- How much do people pay for their tickets?
- How late do audiences book?
- What are the trends in party size?
Are audiences for classical music ageing?
National Classical Music Audiences
The XIX century building that now hosts Maison des Metallos (MdM) was a former music instruments factory, and then became headquarters of the Union Fraternelle des Métallos, a situation that lasted for 60 years and that left an important legacy in terms of place identity. Since the Union left in 1997, the building was run by a committee of inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who occupied it because they felt it was part of local identity. They were concerned about the forthcoming gentrification, which was starting at that time in the former working class neighbourhood. This sense of belonging of the local community had an important role in pushing the municipality of Paris to buy the venue, but also created at first some tension with the occupants as the city decided to convert it in a cultural venue run by an appointed director, that opened in 2007. So the first audience “issue” that MdM had to face, was to find the way to involve and resolve this tension. The relationship with the associations and former occupants took time to be reconstructed, but it’s today an important part of the identity of MdM and of its relation with the neighbourhood.
Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) is the largest early music festival (with a Brighton twist) in the South of England. The main activity of the charity is the festival, which takes place in late October and early November. The charity objectives are to encourage, advance, develop and maintain public education in appreciation of and involvement in pre-classical and classical music and the performing arts, by promoting periodically a series of public concerts, dramatic performances, exhibitions and other cultural events; to promote and assist in the advancement of public and professional education by the provision of workshops, lectures and educational events for people of all ages. Throughout the year it carries out educational activities with schools, young artists and the community.
In his talk, Douglas McLennan stresses the importance of technology in the world of culture and describes how it can connect, improve and measure everything it touches. Proper use of technologies allows us, among other things, to get to know our audience better, to draw up questionnaires with the right questions and to obtain results on what we can do for lovers of music. By way of summary, we can quote one of his conclusions; “Today no experience is complete until it is shared”.
Video of Douglas McLennan in 3rd AEOS-BBVA Foundation, April 2015.