153 of you sweltered through the Folk Fest Artist Survey and made it out alive. And I thank you. Now you’re wondering how everyone fared. And to be honest, I am still wondering myself. The data is a tad overwhelming and will likely need to be broken down into a few posts. Anyone who would like to see the raw numbers can contact me directly (nicole dot braseth at gmail dot com) as I’m happy to share.
Let’s start with the easy stuff, demographics. Disclaimer: I only used stats from responses that went through the whole survey – to keep the artist stats fair (as they were listed alphabetical, that would’ve given preference to the first few pages of artists).
In hindsight I would’ve asked for location, but at the time I was trying to be cheap and not pay SurveyMonkey anything (thus limiting my questions). So many regrets (since I ended up paying to see all of your responses anyhow- only the first 100 are free!).
Now, on to the good stuff. In my previous post, I stated that there were over 200 unique artists to play Calgary or Edmonton in 2010 and 2011. Of those, 90 artists weren’t recognized by 80% of the respondents. Most of those were Calgary Folk Fest (63 vs. 27) artists, which makes me think that more Edmonton Folk Fest go-ers took the survey than Calgarians OR it would make me suggest that those in Edmonton stating their love of discovering new acts should consider Calgary (teasing of course).
Next I looked at how many artists all of our respondents would pay to see outside of a festival. There were 4 EFMF artists and 8 CFMF artists who scored over 30%. Then looking at the “I would travel to see this artist if they weren’t playing in my town” (which shall be referred to now as “travel”) scores, the Avett Brothers (CFMF) scored highest at 18.8%, followed by Ben Harper and Relentless7 at 18.1% (EFMF). In descending order the artists came in as follows: Blue Rodeo (12.4%), Van Morrison (11.4%), Michael Franti and Spearhead (11.3%), City and Colour (10.7%), Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (10.7%), Sarah Harmer (10.7%), Joel Plaskett (9.5%), Dan Mangan (8.7%), Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans (7.3%) and Stars (6.7%).
Then I looked at the people who self-identified as members of our little club (myself included, of course). 15/29 actually finished the whole survey, so I will consider those the TRUE club members . We’re a diverse group from age to musical interests but the thing that really connects us (and should be obvious) is a love of music and a passion for discovering it. Not to toot our own horn TOO much, but I like to think we’re a smidge ahead of the curve. Breakdown of some of our results:
Draw (30%+) Own Show (30%+) Travel (30%+)
EFMF: 26 artists 10 2
CFMF: 24 artists 11 4
Notable artists to mention (scoring 50%+ with the club):
EFMF (7): Van Morrison, Edward Sharpe, Jakob Dylan, Sarah Harmer, Jeremy Fisher, Lyle Lovett, Noah and the Whale.
CFMF (8): City and Colour, Dan Mangan, Joel Plaskett, Michael Franti, Stars, Avett Brothers, the Head and the Heart, Timber Timbre.
So according to these, within the club the numbers are pretty evenly split, which isn’t surprising given the strengths of the debates we’ve had online AND in person.
Folk Fest’s Future
Combining the two biggest age categories we get the under 35 set, or as I’d like to suggest- Folk Fest’s FUTURE. 90 of the 153 respondents fell into this category. A few interesting things- a few of the more “traditional” folk fest acts were very polarizing- basically as many people loved them as didn’t. Those falling into that were Lyle Lovett (sorry @beckaswan!), Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Blue Rodeo. But those that took the survey were generally kind- only two artists received distinctly negative rankings from our futurists (Not a draw 30%+): Buffy Sainte-Marie and Jimmy Rankin.
Artists that scored over 30% in both the “draw” and “pay” categories (in alphabetical order): Andrew Bird, Ben Harper, Blue Rodeo, City and Colour, Coeur de Pirate, Dan Mangan, Joel Plaskett, Edward Sharpe, Library Voices, Michael Franti, Sarah Harmer, Stars, the Avett Brothers, Van Morrison.
Artists that scored over 30% in just the “draw” category: Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Brandi Carlisle, Calexico, Colin Hay, Corb Lund, Deer Tick, Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles, Gipsy Kings, Jakob Dylan, Jeremy Fisher, John Prine, KT Tunstall, Noah and the Whale, Scenic Route to Alaska, the Head and the Heart, the Levon Helm Band, The Swell Season and Timber Timbre.
Conclusion (for now): Obviously there’s tons more to look at (on the docket: what the hipsters think!) and this has only fueled my interest in surveying (what if we surveyed the same audience with artists that HAVEN’T played our festival??, for example). If you’re curious for the outcome of a specific query (artist or demographic specific), contact me or leave it in the comments… I’ll do my best to answer what I can!