Overall, festival attendance in the two states is up significantly on average (fig. 1).
|Fig. 1 - Average Attendance by Year|
In this respect, local festivals may have benefited from the downturn in the economy. Instead of taking a weekend away, many are deciding to stay in town and go to the local festival for their new and different experiences.
While total attendance is up festival budgets have been generally either held steady or reduced. This is particularly due to sponsorship's becoming increasingly challenging. Festival's have therefore had to become more judicious with their spending. One of the ways they are reducing costs is by compacting the event into a shorter time period (fig. 2).
|Fig. 2 - Average Length of Festivals (in Days)|
As festival's have become leaner in their budget management and as a result of increased attendance, we have seen the average spending per guest decrease from over $7.00 to under a dollar today (fig. 3).
|Fig. 3 - Average Spending Per Guest|
So what does this mean for the festival attendee over the next year (fig. 4)? There is a feeling of cautious optimism in the air. For instance, while 57% of festival project an increase in attendance, only 12% are planning to raise ticket prices. In another example of cautious optimism, while over 40% of festival directors are projecting an increase in revenue but only 30% are projecting an increase to their operating budget.
|Fig. 4 - 2012 Projected Trends|