Findhorn Bay Arts have published their Festival Evaluation Report which details the outcomes and impact of the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival on its return after a four-year break following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the event, Findhorn Bay Arts undertook an in-depth post-event evaluation through online feedback surveys and face-to-face conversations with visitors, artists, community groups, partners, volunteers, local businesses and participants to gather constructive feedback, identify areas for improvement and plan for a more sustainable future for the Festival.
Staged between 23 September and 2 October, the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival saw over 90 ticketed and free events take place across 10 days with 281 individual artists and creative practitioners participating, attracting an estimated 11,061 attendances* across free events, ticketed shows and creative activities.
The Festival saw participation from over 898 people and the employment of 327 people to help deliver the programme, including artists and performers, Findhorn Bay Arts’ core team, Shop and Box Office Assistants, event managers, production crew, technical support staff and freelance creative professionals.
Volunteer participants played a crucial role in delivering events and activities with 69 people ranging from the ages of 16 to over 80 contributing their time as Festival stewards and providing support to participating community organisations.
The evaluation found that the fourth installment of the Festival received strong support locally and nationally, with 50.7% of the audience drawn from the Moray area. A further 41.1% visited from other areas in Scotland and 8.2% of visitors traveled from further afield across the UK and the rest of the world., including the US, Europe and Ireland.
From the figures obtained, almost 40% of people spent between £20 and £50 locally while attending the Festival, and the average person spend when attending the Festival was calculated to be £52.85.
Approximately 85% of visitors from outside the area said the Festival was the primary reason for visiting Moray, and 94% of visitors from outside the area said they felt inspired to visit Moray again.
Overall the Festival delivered an estimated £987,948 in local economic benefit through an estimated visitor spend of £752,120 and £235,828 in project spend. The estimated visitor spend was derived using the VisitScotland Visitor Spend Economic Measurement method.
Presented by Findhorn Bay Arts and supported by Scotland’s Year of Stories, The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Berry Burn Community Fund and Culture Collective Scotland, the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival overcame several unprecedented challenges and pressures on its return.
These included the new Covid-19 Omicron variant, the ongoing impact of UK’s exit from the EU, the economic effects of the War in Ukraine, rising food, fuel and energy costs, and UK Government’s now-infamous mini-budget (delivered on 23 September – the first day of the Festival) – all of which had a significant effect on consumer confidence and spending on non-essential items such as tickets to performances and cultural events.
Kresanna Aigner, Festival Director and Creative Director / CEO of Findhorn Bay Arts, said: “This evaluation demonstrates the resounding positive economic and social benefits brought to the local area through the staging of the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival.
“The Festival continues to perform an invaluable role in driving domestic and international visitors to local high streets, boosting consumer spend on food and drink and accommodation and has a demonstrable impact in economic terms.
“The results of our evaluation are even more remarkable given the incredible challenging circumstances we faced with the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and with the growing pressures of an emerging cost of living crisis.
“It is testament to the hard work of the Festival team and the support of our brilliant business and community partners who rose to the challenge to help us make creative things happen last year.
“What is clear is that whatever the circumstances, in good times and bad, arts and culture continue to have a hugely positive impact on so many parts of our lives.”
Karen Dick, Creative Scotland’s Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities, said: “Warm congratulations to the Findhorn Bay Arts team on the successful return of the Findhorn Bay Festival. The 2022 programme brought people together once again to enjoy unique and unexpected cultural experiences, from traditional music to family-friendly events. It also created an important platform for local and visiting creative talent to shine and provided employment opportunities for creative practitioners and professionals in Moray.”
A spokesperson for the Berry Burn Community Fund said: “The Berry Burn Community Fund was happy to be able to support this event which has such a beneficial impact on the local community”.
Findhorn Bay Arts have been consistently recognised and rewarded for their contribution to the local economy, to tourism in Moray and to the benefit of the wider community. They were awarded the 20th Anniversary SURF Scotland Creative Regeneration Award in 2018 and were shortlisted again in 2022.
The biennial Findhorn Bay Festival is expected to return on 20th to 29th September 2024 (subject to funding).
For further information, contact Alex Williamson, Marketing and Communications Manager
Mobile: 07843 383747 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key Stats of the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival
- 90 ticketed and free events across 10 days
- 281 individual artists and creative practitioners making creative things happen.
- 11,061 attendances across its free and ticketed events and activities.
- The employment of 327 creative professionals and artists.
- Participation from over 898 people, including 69 volunteers.
- Support from over 40 programme, business and community partners.
- A media campaign reaching over 18m people.
- A digital and print advertising campaign reaching around 790,000 people.
- An estimated £987,948 in local economic benefit.