Results of the online survey within the Big Musiс for Small Cities project

Submitted by KA9031 on
Big Music for Small Cities_Online Survey

In September-October 2020, the team of the Big Music for Small Cities project conducted an online survey among art festivals. Since the project is aimed at developing a network of art festivals in border areas and creating additional conditions for strengthening cooperation between art festivals, the purpose of the survey was to find out more about the needs of such festivals on both sides of the border, about their expectations from cooperation.

Art festivals in the Republic of Karelia and Finland took part in the survey.

The proposed questions concerned the choice of interaction formats, areas of cooperation, expected results, options for using online platforms for regular communication.

It’s good that 100% of the respondents answered positively to the question about their interest in cooperation with other art festivals.

The majority of representatives of Finnish art festivals (85%) are equally interested both in cooperation directly with the festivals in Finland and in cooperation within the framework of the Russian-Finnish festival network. A similar picture emerged in response to this question on the side of the Russian respondents. 67% of Russian festivals would like to cooperate either with other art festivals from Russia or participate in the joint work of the Russian-Finnish network of art festivals.

When asked about the format of cooperation, representatives of Finnish and Russian art festivals preferred the following: exchange of experience and best practices, organization of joint events and creative exchange. All festivals on the Finnish side (100%) recognized the urgent need for regular informal interaction, while on the Russian side only 1/3 of the festivals considered it important. A little less than half of the representatives of the festivals in Finland and 1/3 of the festivals in Karelia confirmed the importance in obtaining external expert support. One representative from Finland also stated the need for mutual support.

When asked what results the respondents expect from the development of contacts and cooperation, all Finnish festivals answered that they would like to acquire new partners. The need for this was recognized by 50% of the festivals in Karelia. The festivals pin great hopes on the creating of new opportunities to promote festival activities (80%). Approximately the same Karelian and Finnish festivals (70%) see the need for the implementation of joint projects related to festival activities and the developing of new ideas for the development of art festivals. 50% of the total number of respondents are waiting for the opportunity to receive financial support.

Opinions differed about the best forms of communication between art festivals in border areas, if we compare the Finnish and Russian responses.

In particular, master classes with experts in the field of festival activities are recognized as 100% effective for Karelian festivals. Only 70% of Finnish participants agreed with this statement.

According to Finns, the best opportunities are provided by visiting other art festivals. Only half of the Russians surveyed saw the need for this acute.

Almost 50% of Finnish respondents indicated the necessity for regular communication with colleagues in social messengers. On the Russian side, only 1/3 of the survey participants share this opinion.

61.5% of representatives of Finnish festivals expressed a wish to form a database of festivals in the border areas. This idea was supported by 1/3 of the representatives of Karelia.

It should be noted that despite the fact that not all respondents said that they are interested in regular interaction with other festivals in social messengers, when asked whether they would have joined such communication if the project created a special online platform for these purposes, all respondents answered in the affirmative. Most Finnish festivals (70%) have opted for a Facebook group. Most Russian festivals (67%) would prefer to chat via WhatsApp.

The survey also asked to choose areas of cooperation, taking into account the professional interest of representatives of art festivals in the border areas. More than 80% of Russian festivals would like to focus their efforts on promoting art festivals, 67% - on solving economic issues, 50% consider it important to develop creative tourism, develop cooperation between art festivals and interact with the local community and business. Only 17% are interested in producing issues. Finnish representatives (73%) see roughly equal value in cooperation between art festivals and the need for interaction with the local and business community, as well as the promotion of art festivals. Creative tourism is considered a priority by 46% of Finnish survey participants. Interest in the topic of producing was revealed by 40% of respondents from Finland, and the importance of economic issues was recognized by 7% of Finns.

Based on the data received regarding the identified interests and priorities in the field of festival activities in the border areas, the project team is currently developing the programs for the upcoming working sessions in November-January. For online communication, a Facebook chat format will be tested, in which art festivals on both sides of the border will get the opportunity to share news with each other, work out new ideas and look for necessary contacts.

The project team is grateful to all those who devoted their time and attention to the survey!