- Often living reasonably comfortable and stable lives
- A group that engage with popular arts and entertainment and museums, and are also visitors of heritage sites
- Many are older and have some health issues
- Living on average or below average household incomes, so access in all its forms can be an issue
- Characterised as modest in their habits and in their means, value for money and low-risk can be important factors in leisure decision making
Lifestage & location
The majority live in or just outside towns and smaller cities across the industrial North and the Midlands.
While neither frequent nor adventurous attenders, people in this group do engage with a range of cultural experiences. They may be open to persuasion for the right offer in their area, perhaps with the encouragement of others in their community. This might include locally based activity that’s tried and tested, outdoor festivals, theatre and music or live streamed events.
They have a distinct preference for popular and mainstream artforms, especially live music. They prefer rock and pop, but have a broad range of interest in most types of music, though are not particularly keen on contemporary or classical events.
A significant proportion also go to musicals, pantomimes, craft exhibitions and carnivals. This indicates a leaning towards easily accessible, experiential events which may be free or low cost.
They are more likely to visit a museum or gallery than heritage site. There is a relatively low number of National Trust and English Heritage members, possibly due to the cost of membership and the distances required to travel to get to heritage sites.
Other leisure interests
Up Our Street are likely to spend their spare time in the home perhaps doing DIY and gardening. They are also heavy and frequent viewers of TV, which is another of their chief pastimes.
They enjoy occasionally going out for day trips. Wildlife and history are subjects that interest them, and these might provide a focus for days out, often with grandchildren. On the whole they’re not overly sporty, but fishing is an activity that is relatively popular.
Eating out at restaurants, spending time meeting friends over a drink in pubs, bars, sports and social clubs is a frequent pastime for many. They also enjoy some moderate gambling such as playing bingo and/or the lottery.
The majority live in or just outside towns and smaller cities across the industrial North and the Midlands.
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They enjoy pastimes that can be done alone or in the home and that allow them to practice and make use of their practical skills, such as textile crafts like embroidery and knitting, whilst woodwork is also relatively popular. This interest in craft extends to purchasing original/handmade crafts made by others.
The propensity towards poetry writing is higher than amongst many other segments, but in overall terms this applies to a relatively small proportion of people sharing such interest.
The numbers of people taking part in activities linked to classical or contemporary performing arts, such as playing musical instruments, singing, rehearsing or performing in plays, ballet or other dance performances is noticeably lower than levels seen nationally.
Many are employed in jobs, perhaps in skilled trade occupations for which an apprenticeship was undertaken, or in administrative or customer service roles. Most rely on lower to middle incomes of between £15,000- £25,000. They lead a modest lifestyles, enjoying inexpensive hobbies and occasional treats.
Around 95% of Up Our Street earn less than £25,000 per year
Up Our Street are mainly home owners who have worked hard to buy their own homes, live in older terraced or semi-detached homes, some bought from the local council. The majority live across the industrial North and Midlands, in places like Doncaster, Blackpool and Coventry. They are less likely than average to own a car so may be restricted in the places they can travel to easily or independently.
Mostly aged between 51-65 years old and heading towards retirement. There is a significant proportion of singles (44%) in this segment, along with older married couples and families with grown-up children and grandchildren. Most likely to be single, or couples without children living in the home.
Only 5% of households have children in the home
Although they’re interested in what is going on in their local area, Up Our Street are not particularly disposed to get involved through volunteering, with less than one in five people choosing to do so. Those that do volunteer, are more likely to be found organising community events, being members of a committee or offering practical help to others, but don’t tend to do so with arts organisations.
As a segment they are amongst the least likely to make donations to arts and cultural organisations, which are not seen by the majority as worthy charitable causes. The small proportion who are open to giving, are three times more likely to give to museums or heritage sites than to arts organisations, and the vast majority are apt to make very low level, infrequent donations.
Print newspapers are widely read, with The Sun being the most popular, though a high number read local papers. Newspapers are a very significant media channel for Up Our Street as nearly two-thirds read one at least 3 times a week.
The number using the internet to visit cultural organisations’ websites is significantly below the national average, and this is equally true to a similar degree for performing arts, museums, galleries and heritage organisations. This is likely a combined reflection of their relatively low levels of interest in cultural activities and their use of the internet.
Other preferred channels for receiving information include television and SMS text messaging. They are also comparatively apt to respond to postal communications. Most important of all is word of mouth, as they are heavily reliant on recommendations and reassurance.
Up Our Street are comfortable with using digital technology, but they do so to a more limited extent compared with people more generally. They tend to be late adopters and use of social networking sites is not widespread. Those who do use them will most likely be looking for information about events happening in their local area rather than to engage with artistic content or media online. Facebook is preferred to Twitter, YouTube, or other media channels.
Diversity in segment
Whilst over 75% of Up Our Street are people aged over 50, there is a broad range in each of the age bands between 50 and 76+. Therefore a mixture of people from those who still have a number of years to work before reaching retirement, those who are well established in their retirement and those who fall between the two.
There is also a slightly higher proportion of people with some form of disability or limiting illness, most particularly around mobility issues. This indicates that a range of potential barriers or challenges may need to be addressed or overcome for wider arts engagement to be successful.
Not an ethnically diverse group, over 90% class themselves as White British. There are, however, very small representations of people from non-British white backgrounds, as well as Irish, mixed White & Black Caribbean, mixed White and Asian, Asian and African populations.
44% of people in this segment have a long term health condition
Segment best match
Arts Audiences Insight: A Quiet Pint with the Match
Mosaic 2014: Modest Traditions
Up Our Street are infrequent attenders that make up a significant proportion of the English population, and some will be open to encouragement to engage a little more often with popular or mainstream arts and cultural events.
This group have difficulty with too much choice and so are swayed by other people’s opinions. The goal should be to introduce something with which they’re reasonably familiar and comfortable. Any introduction of risk, to which they’re naturally averse, should come much further down the development line.
Heritage sites potentially have an advantage in seeking to develop audiences from this segment, as they’re already averagely disposed to do so. This group like taking days out (often with grandchildren for a treat), and many are interested in history and wildlife – all of which might be brought together in suitably packaged offers. Many museums will also be able to cater to this group by offering similar features.
For some in this segment, health issues could present barriers to attending, which organisations should be mindful of and address through thoughtful access planning. Incomes are not high and cultural activities, which provide some of this segment’s potential ‘treat’ opportunities, will need to be priced appropriately or have added value experiences to make them more attractive over competing leisure offers.
Most cultural attendance from Up Our Street happens at popular and mainstream events. Those opportunities likely to appeal will be easily accessible outdoor festivals, especially music and specifically rock and pop (although wider musical offerings may also appeal).
A slightly older lifestage means that people are less likely to be looking for content to interest younger children – enjoyment is a key criterion – unless they are grandparents looking to find activities they can share with their grandchildren.
Museums may have an advantage and be able to exploit people’s interest in history and in their local communities to package opportunities which may chime with these cost conscious households.
Heritage sites might equally appeal to many with the same needs, and perhaps provide ideal days out to share with grandchildren. If there are opportunities to get close to nature and wildlife nearby then so much the better.
Classical and contemporary events, with which many are not familiar, are much less likely to be taken up by this risk averse segment, unless the risk can be highly mitigated, perhaps by pricing strategies like “pay what you want” or “money back” guarantees, or are part of taster events at free outdoor festivals.
Although people might not necessarily be highly active within their communities, they do tend to live out much of their lives within them and have an interest in what’s going on locally. Community services like media (papers, radio channels), shops, clubs, church groups and healthcare providers will form regular touch points for Up Our Street that might make them effective partners for reaching these mutually shared households.
Enjoying a drink with friends is a commonplace pastime, and perhaps making sure events have facilities to do so in comfortable surroundings might potentially be important. As culture forms something of a treat, a developed retail offer could present an opportunity to enhance the sense of “treat” with access to food, shopping and all the trimmings.
Place: Access & distance
Car ownership is low, so easily accessed community events are key. Beyond that, cheap, effective, reliable transport links are important and programming needs to factor in any limitations that transport services might dictate, e.g. last bus times.
Providing opportunities for Up Our Street to gain access to inexpensive tickets and being sure to foreground value for money in the offer are key. Emphasising the experiential benefits that mark cultural activities out as a better alternative to competing leisure activities, and enhancing the treat factor may work well.
There will also be opportunities to boost ancillary spend for this group around catering and retail products. People are apt to buy works of art and craft, so associated products, if keenly priced, are likely to prove popular and add to the overall experience.
Word of mouth is perhaps the most important channel in influencing engagement. They rely heavily on recommendation and reassurance from people they know and trust. This is an opportunity that might well be used to good advantage through arts ambassador type schemes. Existing audiences from Up Our Street who are recruited to encourage and incentivise their friends and neighbours to attend could be an effective strategy.
Newspapers are a widely read and an important source of information – especially local papers. Television and SMS messaging are also popular channels for receiving information, and they respond comparatively well to postal communications.
Generally late adopters of technology, engagement with cultural organisations’ websites is low and shouldn’t be used as the only or principal channel. Those who do use such websites are doing so primarily to gather information, rather than buying tickets or engaging online, and the same is true of the smaller numbers who use social networks.
Participatory activities, such as embroidery, knitting, crochet, wood turning, carving and furniture making, or those that provide a chance to use and develop craft and handiwork skills may be well received. These might also form opportunities to socialise and share that all important drink with friends and similar like-minded people.
Poetry writing while a relatively minority activity that is comparatively popular with this segment, could be an important activity for organisations planning activities with some in this group.
Most of the participatory activities that tend to be popular are those that can be practised in and around the home, and for reasons of physical and financial access, have to be.
Effective strategies for building relationships might best be focused upon developing community ties. Those people from Up Our Street who do volunteer tend to do so through organising or running community events, offering opportunities for co-creation or co-production with local communities. Arts ambassador type schemes, as a means of reaching and developing new audiences for this type of work, might flourish within this context.
Giving & volunteering
Membership, friends or loyalty schemes, as a means to incentivising increased attending may not be effective. People from this group are unlikely to become frequent enough attenders fast enough to realise any of the financial benefits inherent in such schemes.
Seeking donations is also unlikely to be fruitful for arts organisations, but heritage sited may have more success, with targeted campaigns designed to encourage infrequent, low level giving when visiting.
Increasing reach & diversity
Up Our Street have a lower propensity to engage. A focus therefore on increasing the frequency of visits made, or the number of those engaging will, by default, broaden reach into newer audience areas, particularly amongst older, less well off, sometimes socially disadvantaged people in this group. Challenges to overcome, include physical, economic and psychological barriers as people in this group are not affluent, highly engaged or see themselves as arty.