09 Jul 2015
A detailed survey following April’s Southern Lakes Festival of Colour has revealed the seven-day celebration of art, music, theatre and conversation was judged the best ever by its audience.
The online questionnaire asked ticket buyers to rate each performance they attended and polled responses on topics including previous attendance, value for money and their impressions of venue staff.
Shows voted the most popular in the audience survey were Michael Houstoun’s performance of Bach Goldberg Variations, twin recitals by the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir at Holy Family Catholic Church on Anzac Day and the classical slapstick of The Pianist, a family-friendly matinée on the festival’s final day.
The average score for overall satisfaction with this year’s festival was 9.2/10 (with 10 being extremely satisfied). Whilst this is a similar score to previous years, 51% of respondents gave a maximum ten-out-of-ten with a further 43% giving a rating of 8 or 9 – higher figures than ever before.
The rating given to the 2015 festival for overall value for money was 9.0/10, an increase from the 8.8 score shared by both the 2011 and 2013 festivals.
The survey also underlined the Festival of Colour’s strong connection with the local community. Respondents gave the statements ‘the festival instils a sense of pride in the community’ and ‘the festival brings people together within the local community’ an overall rank of 9.1/10 and 9.0/10 respectively.
Festival Director, Philip Tremewan said he was particularly pleased with this aspect of the audience feedback in the festival’s tenth anniversary year.
“Since its inception, we’ve worked hard to create something that reflects the people and the landscape of the Southern Lakes. Nearly three-quarters of our audience live in the region and many of them commented this year on how wonderful it is to have such high calibre performers here, and at such a reasonable price. Those visiting from elsewhere in New Zealand and from overseas remark on the fact that the whole town seems to be behind it,” he said.
“The survey provides invaluable feedback that enables us to benchmark each festival against previous ones, and to put together a programme that gives people what they want to see but also challenges them with thought-provoking new work and performances that wouldn’t normally be seen in this part of rural New Zealand.”
Financial results are still being assessed but with more than 10,800 tickets sold, organisers are confident that this year’s festival will make a modest profit that can be used for commissioning new work.
The 2015 Southern Lakes Festival of Colour ran from 21-27 April, generously supported by gold sponsors Aurora Energy and Anderson Lloyd plus funders Creative New Zealand, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust and Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Aspiring Conversations returns next year as a stand-alone festival of ideas from 22-24 April. The next full Festival of Colour will take place from 4-9 April 2017, slightly earlier in the month to allow the schools programme to run before the Easter school holidays. For further information visit www.festivalofcolour.co.nz.