Creative BC News

BC Music Festival Survey

May 14, 2021 | Funding Recipient

Beat Music Management is pleased to release the findings from the BC Music Festival Survey – Economic and Socio-Cultural Report.  Data was collected from five festivals around the province during the summer of 2019 and this report represents the summary of this multi-phased project. The initial phase was to develop a standardized music festival survey that was easily accessible, user friendly, affordable, had a high degree of data integrity and deliver an economic and socio-cultural report. The survey was designed combining basic survey and socio-cultural questions with the addition of tourism’s traveler type or Explorer Quotient (EQ). For the five festivals that participated in the 2019 BC Music Festival Survey project, an additional outcome was the receipt of an individual report written based on their unique festival survey results.

The idea for this project happened during a “greatest needs of music festivals” discussion at a conference of BC music festivals and arts council groups. For many festivals, the lack of data meant that festivals were unable to provide meaningful information such as economic, social and cultural impacts when requests from local municipalities, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations or granting agencies were made. This put these festivals and the music sector at a distinct disadvantage compared to other sectors of the economy as well as other grant applicants. Festivals also wanted this information for their own planning and marketing. From the initial discussion, to conversations that continued afterwards with music industry leaders, the need for standardized festival data in the music sector became more defined and acknowledged.

Survey / Research Results:
• Total direct spend – $25.2 Million
• The majority of festival participants (75%) came from outside of the community/region
• Festival participants predominantly (56%) fell between the ages of 25 to 44, with the largest single group aged 25-34 (37%)
• About two-thirds (67%) of the festival goers indicated that they would not have come to these communities if the festival had not been occurring
• Listening to performers was the main reason for most (75%) of the participants, however several other aspects were also important motivators for the attendees, including spending time with family/friends (57%), experiencing culture (42%), meeting new people (34%) and eating at the food vendors (33%)
• Word-of-mouth and previous knowledge were the two most common sources of information for the festival attendees, at 51% and 48% respectively
• Private vehicles were the most common form of transportation with people as drivers (53%) or riders (23%)
• Many (29%) of the participants were staying in the area of the festival for 3 nights
• Most (61%) of the festival participants were camping or staying in RVs, either on-site or off-site
• Overall, participants were very positive about the impact of the festivals, with 91% agreeing/strongly agreeing that the festival enriched their lives
• Social activities were noted by many of the participants such as spending time with family/friends as a main motivation for attending the festivals (57%), meeting new people (34%), and experiencing a sense of community (11%)

The survey findings show the value and importance that these festivals bring to their communities. While providing economic benefits, they also produce many social and cultural benefits for the areas and attendees. Festival goers are introduced to regions that they might not otherwise visit. Locations enjoy cultural activities and services that are not normally available.

This project was supported by Creative BC and the Province of BC.

If you have inquiries about this report, the project’s final phase timeline or general questions for Beat Music Management, email Deb Beaton-Smith at