Evidence to help build an understanding of how audiences have engaged with Outdoor Arts before, during and moving out of the pandemic.

Key Findings from the Cultural Participation Monitor

Attendance & Intention
  • In the 12 months Pre-Pandemic, 18% had attended an outdoor festival, carnival or streets arts.
  • Since the Pandemic began, 13% of respondents had attended an outdoor festival, carnival or street arts.
  • Two Audience Spectrum groups were more likely to have attended during this period than others: 20% of Experience Seekers and 17% of Kaleidoscope Creativity - the latter usually being low engaged arts attenders.
  • Moving out of the pandemic, 26% had plans to do this in the next two months.

Location & Motivation
  • Attending an outdoor festival, carnival or street arts tended to be done locally (32% said the journey was up to 30 mins, 31% said up to 1 hour and 23% said it was more than 1 hour).
  • 17% of all respondents are looking to do this activity closer to home in future, compared to before the pandemic.
  • By far the most prominent main reason for attending was to do something sociable, spend time with others (33%), followed then by a desire to relax, take your mind of things (16%) and to be entertained (16%).

Wellbeing & Safety
  • Audiences felt the risk of catching/spreading Covid at cultural events outdoors was a lot lower than indoors (45% saying risk Low/Very Low outdoors vs. 17% indoors).
  • 81% were quite or very satisfied with the steps taken to ensure Covid-19 safety and, as of Winter 2021, 52% were prepared to return if these measures stay the same while 38% would with some reservations.
  • 78% said the experience had a positive effect on their wellbeing.

Other Arts Engagement and Creative Activities

To contextualise, we've looked a little into Outdoor Arts audiences' more general cultural and creative interests and pursuits:

  • When asked about their leisure interests, 72% of all respondents to the Cultural Participation Monitor expressed an interest in the outdoors and nature more generally, beyond specifically cultural offerings.
  • Since the Covid-19 pandemic, 7% of all respondents had taken part in an outdoor arts event as a performer e.g. carnival, street arts.
  • 63% of those that did this activity did so in 2020, while 54% did it in 2021 - showing only a relatively small pandemic decline - while 70% said it had a positive effect on their wellbeing.
  • Looking at typical pre-pandemic attendance, we see that, unsurprisingly, Outdoor Arts attenders cross over massively with Museum and Heritage enthusiasts, and are also likely attenders of indoor Performing Arts.

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