In this article, we focus on summer festivals. The topic was approached through an online survey conducted on the questia.ro platform. The research study was active between June 25th and June 27th, 2019 and covered 1079 respondents, with a +/- 3% margin of error when reported to the Romanian online population.

Overview

The summer is not over yet! To keep the summerish vibe alive, we are publishing this study as an extension of a previous research, “Summer Festivals: It's More Than Just Music”,  where we found out that the most appealing music festivals in 2018 were Untold festival from Cluj, Brasov’s Golden Stag Festival and Summer Well from Buftea.

This year, we wanted to see if the trends have changed. To spice things up a little, we extended the concept of summer festivals to include not only music festivals but also movie festivals, culinary fests, book fares, fashion festivals and more.

According to the US National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals #51, it seems that the most popular festivals in the US are music festivals (81%), followed by visual arts/crafts (67%), dance festivals (42%), folk/traditional arts (41%), theatre festivals (22%), literary festivals (19%), other types of festivals (12%) and film festivals (8%).

Most outdoor arts festivals organized in the US appear to be free of charge for all events (59%) while 34% require a fee for some or for all events performed inside the festival. Moreover, most outdoor arts festivals (77%) occur in small to mid-sized communities in publicly accessible places that are family-friendly: nearly half (46%) take place in a park or plaza, while a quarter hold some of their events in the street.

Let’s see which types of festivals our respondents preferred!

Findings

First, we asked respondents which types of activities they intended to do in the summer of 2019 and then we compared the answers to the results from last year. It seems that the top 3 most appealing activities to be performed during summers have remained the same: going on trips, chilling at home or visiting the countryside.

A little over one quarter of respondents (26.2%) had in plan to go to cultural events/ festivals in the summer of 2019 while 21.2% wanted to attend concerts or music festivals.

The biggest change in 2019 seems to be concerning practicing sports in the summer. The percentage of people who planned to practice a sport or participate in a sports competition has decreased by 21% when comparing to 2018. Moreover, the percentage of people who prefer going on trips in the country or abroad has decreased by 10% in 2019, as well as the percentage of people who spend time with their friends at bars, clubs or restaurants (decreased by 19%).

We then asked respondents what type of festival they prefer, in general. Music festivals are the most popular festivals among our respondents as more than three quarters of them (78.5%) would prefer going to such a festival in the summer. Almost half (47.6%) opt for film festivals, followed by culinary fests (41.3%), theater festivals (38.6%), festivals related to family or children (37.2%), book fests (29.9%). Less than a quarter (23.1%) prefer festivals for visual arts or crafts.

We then wanted to know to which music festivals respondents intended to go this summer. It seems that the most popular music festivals in 2019 were Untold and Neversea, each of them having 39.4% of respondents who expressed intention to attend the festival in 2019. This result is interesting since Untold and Neversea are both organized by the same company. Even though Untold was launched 5 years ago and Neversea only 3 years ago it appears that the awareness for the latter is catching up.

Almost one quarter (24.6%) intended to go to Electric Castle while 21.7% expressed their will to attend Summer Well festival in Buftea this summer.  However, 14.3% said they don’t plan to go to any music festival in 2019. The percentage is slightly lower than the one from the previous year which would suggest that the audience for such events might be on the rise.

We extended this year’s research to cover for other types of festivals as well. It seems that movie festivals are really tempting for respondents as more than a quarter (29.2%) expressed their will to attend Bucharest International Film Festival. Medieval Sighișoara Festival also had some fans (26.9% said they intend to participate) while 20.2% planned to go to Sibiu International Street ART Festival. Next comes two culinary fests, each having a base of 19.9% of respondents who said they intend to go to Bucharest Craft Beer Festival and Ice cream Festival in Constanța. However, 14.4% said they don’t plan to attend any of the festivals that were mentioned below.

We also asked respondents what is the first word that comes to their mind when thinking of summer festivals. The top 3 words that seem to describe the concept of summer festivals for our respondents are FUN, RELAXATION and MUSIC.

But what drives respondents to attend summer festivals in the first place? Most of them go to festivals to relax and have a good time as 71.4% of respondents said they attend summer festivals because they like the festival vibe and they enjoy the activities they can do inside the festival. Almost half of respondents (45.5%) are going to festivals due to the artists that are coming to perform (this one is valid especially for music festivals) and 43.6% feel motivated to attend because their circle is doing so, which might suggest a sign of fear of missing out: 43.6% are going because their family or kids go while 37.3% go because their friends are also going.

Most respondents (84.8%) believe that there should be more festivals or concerts held in Romania with increased security (77.2%) and more diverse activities people can enjoy while participating at the festival/ concert (74.2%).

It seems that people attend these events not only for their main purpose such as listening to the artist performing at a concert or watching the movie projected at a film festival. People attend festivals for the whole experience a festival could or should provide: from culinary aspects (food trucks, bars), playgrounds (wheels, swings) and artistic footages where they can take pictures to stands dedicated to various brands/sponsors, tech-related stands (for example a VR experience for escalating Everest) and even places where they can play games and even win some prizes.

Moreover, more than half (61.4%) agree that in general, festivals and concerts should provide a greater variety of foods and beverages.  

More than half of respondents (56.9%) seem to participate to festivals that are free of charge for all events displayed at the fest while the rest are willing to pay a fee either for some events (28.9%) or for all events (13.9%).

As far as the budget goes, more than three quarters of respondents (78.2%) are allocating up to 800 RON for participating at a fest, this budget including the ticket fee, accommodation, transportation, food and any other expenses during the festival.

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