Fresh knowlegde boosts Førdefestivalen

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Researchers from Vestlandsforsking have studied audience experiences at this year's Førdefestival, because the organizers wanted to know what they could do for both loyal participants and new target groups. The research has already led to new concrete measures, so that more people can discover a unique festival with world-class artists.

Research has already led to new concrete measures and plans.
- Especially the results from the in-depth interviews are valuable, which both confirm and give us a sound knowledge, says acting director of the Førdefestivalen, Sølvi Lien.

Kvinner på festival
Acting director of the Førdefestivalen Sølvi Lien together with longtime tenant Hilde Bjørkum. Photo: Eric Van Nieuwland

Researchers Agnes Bruvik Engeset and Anna Maria Urbaniak Brekke did field work during the summer party, by gathering a test audience of young adults. These went to selected concerts, and then the researchers interviewed them every day about experiences and impressions. The researchers also did written questionnaires and brief interviews with people on the street in Førde, to find out what people thought was interesting in the festival program, or why they did not participate.

To kvinner under grøn parasoll
Researchers Anna Maria Urbaniak-Brekke and Agnes Brudvik Engesethar surveyed the audience's experiences at Fördefestivalen.

- In general, people expressed that they were very content with the music and the cultural experience. But we learned that the audience is missing information, both at the pre-event and during the festival. We also found that people want a clearer host role. It is very important to be warmly welcomed by both industry professionals and the volunteer festival organizers, Anna Maria Urbaniak-Brekke says.

Gruppe mennesker ser på storskjerm
On the initiative of Vestlandsforsking, representatives from Fördefestivalen, Førde municipality, Sunnfjord Utvikling, museums in Sogn og Fjordane, Jølstramuseet and Sunnfjord Hotell came together to form a workshop on the development of Førde festival.

Many of the younger ones who were asked also asked about the price.
- Not all young adults can benefit from a student discount, so the price obviously means something to some. But it is probably the most important festival when early and clearer with what artists and concerts one offers, the researcher says.

Break down prejudice

The organizers will follow up, the marketing will expand.
- The results show that we should use videos more, so that people can watch right before they book a ticket or even a festival, Lien says. A professional video from this year's festival has also been produced. Several practical measures were also decided on the work collection, between different signs and information in the various arenas. Extremely happy is the director of a very clear result from the test panel, which shows that prejudice against the genre of folk music can break:
- The study shows that young people get a great sense for the artists and the music, even if they didn't initially think this was enough for them, says Sølvi Lien.

Mennesker ute på bakken foran gamle bygg
Museums in the area also contributed to the festival, through various events..

Cultural tourism for the future

The project is part of 'Strategic research program for innovation and value creation in tourism in Sogn og Fjordane'. The initiative from Vestlandsforsking was to study culture and tourism as approved by the board of the Strategic Research Program.

The only sub-study was the Førdefestival, a similar interview and mapping of tourist experiences were also done in Balestrand. The starting point was that the 30-year-old international folk festival has our choir of Aftenposten as one of the country's best festivals - the question is how can we lift the festival further and ensure that the quality is passed on? Western Norway has world-class nature attractions, but there are also high-level cultural attractions. In the Destination Norway (2012) tourism strategy, our health-related experience product included culture, food, history launched as a goal. In the Storting Report for Norwegian Tourism (2016-2017), Experience Norway - unique and adventurous, cultural tourism is pointed out as an important area of ​​focus.

More about the project: