Studying The Festival Crowd

This year’s UK Festival Conference promises to unveil the most accurate study of audience habits ever undertaken.

Festival Awards managing director James Drury told Pollstar he expects a survey carried out by pollsters from ACC International to be the most “scientific” of its kind, detailing people’s preferences from the time they buy the ticket to what pleases or displeases them when they attend the event.

He said ACC, a research-focused IT agency, will be getting responses from those eligible to vote in the UK Festival Awards and mixing them with “a nationally representative survey” of the general public.

The results will be packaged in a UK Festival Market Report and unveiled on conference day.

The conference itself has a keynote speech from Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn, who runs the UK’s Reading, Leeds and Latitude festivals among others, and panel topics will include a look at “stage collapse tragedies.”

A panel including event organisers, staging companies and insurers will debate the issues in a bid to uncover what could be behind them and how risks can be minimised.

This year stage collapses at the Indiana State Fair in the U.S. and at Belgium’s Pukkelpop Festival claimed a dozen lives and made news headlines worldwide.

This year’s UK Festival Conference is at London’s HMV Forum Nov. 15 and the UK Festival Awards are in the evening at The Roundhouse.

He expects 400 people for the conference and 800 for the awards.