Maaria Linko, University of Helsinki
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Maaria Linko, University of Helsinki ( [email protected] ) ‏ EFRP Helsinki Workshop April 11-12th, 2008. Enjoying excellence in a ”fun city” – looking at festivals from the point of view of audiences. Research questions and data.

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Enjoying excellence in a ”fun city” – looking at festivals from the point of view of audiences

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Enjoying excellence in a fun city looking at festivals from the point of view of audiences

Maaria Linko, University of Helsinki

([email protected])‏

EFRP Helsinki Workshop

April 11-12th, 2008

Enjoying excellence in a ”fun city” – looking at festivals from the point of view of audiences


Research questions and data

Research questions and data

  • Presentation based on article in progress: M. Linko & S. Silvanto.

  • Background: festival boom in the Helsinki area. Cities turning into “experience machines”.

  • Internet survey (N=1055) among residents in Helsinki Metropolitan Area in October 2006. Also open-ended questions

  • How popular are festivals among the residents of Helsinki Metropolitan Area?

    Emphasis in this presentation:

  • What are the reasons for visiting a festival?

  • Do residents consider festivals meaningful for themselves or important to the city? Why?


Table 1 participation in festivals

TABLE 1: Participation in festivals

participated sometimes

participated during the past 12 months

  • 37% of all respondents have participated in a festival during the past 12 months

  • 74% have sometimes participated in a festival

Age


Table 4 reasons for visiting festivals

TABLE 4: Reasons for visiting festivals

interesting program

particular performer

access to tickets

ticket prices

festival atmosphere

interesting venue

very important

quite important

not important/

don’t know

important


Table 5 top 10 list of festivals visits to the most popular festivals during the past 12 months

TABLE 5: TOP 10 list of Festivals Visits to the most popular festivals during the past 12 months (%)‏

of festival-goers

of all respondents


The importance of festivals for the residents and for the city

The importance of festivals for the residents and for the city

  • 25% see festivals meaningful for them personally

  • 91% of those who don’t feel festivals are important for them still think they are important for the city

  • Only 6% think festivals are not important for them nor for the city


Why are festivals important for participants

Why are festivals important for participants?

  • Five discourses emerged: experience, entertainment, enlightenment, empowerment, and excellence.

  • Experiences considered important as such; they bring experiences of joy. Enjoying atmosphere in general.

  • Entertainment: Relaxation and ”getting a good feeling”, aspects of appreciating ”fun city” visible

  • Enlightenment: Important for one’s personal development - “food for thought”

  • Empowerment: Getting energy and inspiration from festivals. Sharing an experience – “community spirit”

  • Excellence: artistic quality, festivals arrangements, special guests

  • General view: experience and entertainment discourses dominant; enlightenment and entertainment also important. Different discourses in one answer, esp. excellence intertwined with other d’s.


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • most of the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan area participate in art festivals at least occasionally. Participants come from different groups.

  • Residents see festivals as integral part of urban life – high tolerance

  • An interesting program is the main reason for participation.

    Qualitative data (2006) shows:

  • Experience orientation is strong. A meaningful experience is an enlightening or empowering one. These aspects do not prevent from having fun. Therefore:


In the long run excellence is what counts in a fun city

In the long run, excellence is what counts in a ”fun city”

The policy of Helsinki: aiming at success in experience economy

Residents and visitors enjoy different aspects of ”fun city” but also interesting programs and the high quality of festival performances and arrangements. Appreciation of experiences and excellence was intertwined with ideas of empowerment.

An excellence logic should be enhanced.


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