Melt Festival is a major music event in the community calendar. Each year, the festival strives to provide a platform for unique and diverse artists to showcase their work and reach new audiences. The annual event is a place where people from all walks of life have the opportunity to access a wide range of music, cultures, and art.
The following report identifies community responses, and benchmarks for music events to identify outcomes, benefits, and learnings.
Melt Co. engaged Culture Counts to conduct an evaluation of their Melt Festival event, as well as to assess the economic impact. The evaluation was conducted by surveying members of the general public. Surveys were delivered through intercept interviews organised by Culture Counts and distributed to ticket holders. In partnership with Culture Counts, this survey was designed and developed to evaluate the strategic goals and outcomes of Melt Festival.
350 responses were collected from public attendees via intercept interviews and online surveys.
Each survey contained a range of ‘dimension’ questions, asking stakeholders about their experience of the event. These dimensions have been developed and tested in collaboration with industry, practitioners, and academics to measure the impact and value of arts and cultural events and activities.
Appropriate dimensions were chosen based on their alignment with the festival's strategic objectives.
|Cultural||Insight||It helped me gain new insight or knowledge|
|Social||Access||It gave me the opportunity to access cultural activities|
|Safe||It made me feel safe and welcome|
|Civic||Belonging||It helped me feel part of the community|
|Economic||Diversity||It engaged people from different backgrounds|
|Environmental||Place||It made me feel proud of my local area|
|Quality||Rigour||It was well thought through and put together|
|Local Impact||It's important that it's happening here|
Dimensions are assessed on a Likert scale, in which respondents move a slider to a point that indicates whether they agree or disagree with the dimension statement. An example of a dimension question in the Culture Counts survey tool is presented below.
Melt Festival's strategic plan is focused on four key areas of service. Based on this strategy, Culture Counts worked with Melt Co. to align appropriate outcome metrics to the different strategic areas. The following visualisation lists those key areas and their overall goal.
An accompanying table highlights which dimensions are aligned to which strategic area, for the purpose of monitoring and evaluation. It aligns each dimension with the associate outcome domain and the reference number in the strategic plan.
|4.1||Lead the Way||Diversity||Economic|
Survey respondents were asked to provide their age, gender, and identity. This data identifies the demographic sample of people who responded to the survey and took part in the event. It enables data to be matched to the wider population and responses to be filtered to understand differences in demographics.
The following charts show the proportion of survey responses captured for each of the age, gender, and identity demographic questions.
The largest age group of respondents overall were in the 20-29 age bracket (37%). This was followed by those aged 30-39 (27%) and Under 20 (15%). Those aged 40-49 made up 14% of the total sample, those aged 50-59 made up 6%, and people aged over 60 made up 1%.
64% of respondents were female, 35% identified male, and less than 1% identified in a different way.
19% of the overall sample identified as LGBTQI+ and being born overseas. 17% of survey respondents mainly speak a language other than English. Respondents who identified themselves as living with a disability made up 13% of the sample and 6% of respondents identified as Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander. 3% of respondents cared for a person with disabilities and 71% identified with none of the options.
Survey respondents were asked to provide their current living location and postcode. This data identifies the demographic sample of people who responded to the survey and took part in the event. It enables data to be matched to the wider population and responses to be filtered to understand differences in demographics.
The following charts show the proportion of survey responses captured for respondents' identified living location and top suburb results.
Respondents traveled from all over to attend Melt Festival. 45% of the total sample live in the metropolitan area and 27% reside in the local council area. Regional residing respondents made up 20% and interstate respondents made 7%. Melt Festival had less than 1% of overseas respondents. The most cited suburb was Piegold (17%). This was followed by Port Kynam (14%) and Longrker (14%), and Dorepoon (14%).
Respondents were asked to indicate whether this was their first time attending Melt Festival. Responses can be seen distributed on the chart below.
Over half the entire sample of respondents (59%) indicated that they had attended Melt Festival in previous years, with the remaining 41% being first-time attendees.
Survey respondents moved a slider to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed with the included dimension statements in relation to the event. The first tab chart contains the response data for 'public' responses, showing the average result for each dimension.
The second tab shows the interquartile range of responses for each dimension. These ranges represent the middle 50% of responses, which are areas on the slider where most responses typically fell. Accompanying this range is the median result for each dimension (i.e. the most common response). Smaller ranges indicate similarity in agreement between respondents, whereas larger ranges indicate a wider spread of responses.
The Culture Counts platform provides various methods to capture survey responses at a minimal marginal cost. Achieving larger samples enables organisations to be more confident about the average results and that opinions of the survey respondents are representative of all attendees. The accompanying margin of error chart shows the expected differences for the associated dimension results calculated at a 95% confidence level.
Of all 10 measurable dimensions, 'Local Impact' (85/100), 'Rigour' (85/100) and 'Safe' (82/100) received the highest average levels of agreement overall. This indicates that respondents were most likely to agree that it was important the event was happening here, it made them feel safe and welcome, and it was well thought through and put together. 'Belonging' (73/100) was the dimension that received the lowest average agreement, indicating that of all comparable dimensions, respondents were least likely to agree that the event made them feel part of the community. 'Belonging' also had the largest interquartile range, indicating that responses to this statement were the most varied out of all comparable dimensions.
At a 95% confidence level, the margin of error for dimensions ranged from 1.9% to 5%. This means that we can be 95% confident that if we surveyed the entire visitor population, the average outcome for 'Safe' would fall within 2.1% of the average generated by the sample.
Dimension statements can be categorised into their representative outcome domain. Outcome domains represent categorisations of dimensions based on their general area of focus. For example:
Cultural Outcomes represent dimensions that reflect shared cultural values; things we care about and the ways we share them.
Social Outcomes represent dimensions that support the building of social capital, creates and promotes participation in community life and fosters the realisation of self at the individual level.
Environmental Outcomes represent dimensions that recognise the links between people, where they live and how these connections contribute to overall wellbeing.
Economic Outcomes represent dimensions that seek to promote dynamic and resilient local economies that are required to sustain vibrant communities.
Artistic & Quality Outcomes represent dimensions that connect the quality of what is produced to the realisation of intentions and the strength of their impact.
Civic Outcomes represent dimensions that recognise links between community groups, social institutions and decision-making structures that supports broader engagement in community-led activities.
Environmental Outcomes represent dimensions that recognise the links between people, where they live and how these connections contribute to overall wellbeing.
The highest ranking outcome domain measured was 'Arts Quality', followed by 'Economic' and 'Social', indicating that the event excelled in these areas. Despite still being a positive result, the lowest ranking outcome domain measured was 'Civic', meaning that respondents were least likely to agree with dimension statements from this outcome domain.
More information about outcome domains are available at https://culturaldevelopment.net.au/outcomes/
Melt Festival's 5-Year Strategy contains objectives that align with four key themes. Dimension questions included in the survey contributed to the assessment of objectives.
The charts below show results for the four themes assessed. Each theme has its own tab containing a chart, with each chart showing the stacked level of agreement for component Dimensions that were used to assess the achievement of that objective.
When looking at dimension agreement categorised by Theme, Lead the Way (94%) had the highest level of agreement, indicating that chosen dimensions related to diversity, insight, and access received the highest levels of agreement.
Experimentation also had a high overall agreement with dimensions focused on evaluating diversity, insight, and how well the event was thought through and put together receiving 84% of the overall agreement. Sustainability received 82% overall agreement with metrics related to measuring the festival's ability to positively contribute to the future of the sector ('Safe', 'Insight', 'Local Impact', and 'Diversity').
Respondents were asked about their overall experience of attending Melt Festival, with a choice of five options - Excellent, Good, Neutral, Poor, and Terrible.
This chart shows the percentage of respondents that rated the events overall across these five options and the results per event.
The vast majority of the sample (68%) reported having a positive experience overall, an excellent result. Of this sample, 61% reported having an excellent experience and 7% reported their experience as good. 23% of respondents reported having a neutral experience, 5% reported their experience being poor and the remaining 3% reported their experience as terrible.
Respondents were asked whether they would recommend Melt Festival to a friend or colleague. Respondents could choose a number from 0 to 10 from a menu, with 0 meaning 'not likely at all' and 10 meaning 'extremely likely'.
These results can be used to calculate a Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a standardised metric that seeks to measure loyalty between an organisation and its audience. Respondents with a score of 9 or 10 are considered 'Promoters'. 'Detractors' are those who respond with a score of 0 to 6. Scores of 7 and 8 are considered 'Passives'.
NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. This means that an overall Net Promoter Score can range between -100 to +100.
This chart shows the proportion of respondents that would or would not recommend Melt Festival, followed by the calculated NPS below.
33% of respondents rated Melt Festival either 9 or 10, indicating they would be classified as Promoters. 31% of respondents had passive results (7 or 8) and 46% would be considered detractors (scoring between 0-6).
An NPS that is positive (i.e. higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of 50+ is excellent. Melt Festival's NPS of -19 indicates that audiences have a low level of loyalty towards the festival and are less likely to promote it when speaking with others.
Respondents were asked to provide their age and gender as part of the survey. This data enables results to be filtered to understand any differences that exist because of demography.
The following charts highlight a selection of results based on the gender that respondents identified with as well as by age cohort.
Overall, all age brackets responded positively for all dimensions measured. 'Local Impact' (91), 'Rigour' (89), and 'Place' (89) received the most positive response from those in the under 20 age bracket. Respondents in the 20-29 bracket had the highest level of agreement for 'Safe' (87) and 'Belonging' (81). 'Diversity' and 'Insight' (80) had the highest level of agreement with respondents in the 30-39 age bracket, while 'Access' had the most agreement with those aged between 40-49.
Respondents of all genders similarly across the eight dimensions. Women had a higher level of agreement than males for 'Insight' (76), 'Local Impact' (86), and 'Belonging' (74). Males had the highest level of agreement for 'Access' (79) and 'Place' (78). As those who identified in another way made up less than 1% of respondents, the sample size was not large enough to draw insights from.
Dimensions used in the evaluation were also measured in previous years. This consistent use of measurement allows organisers to benchmark their results and track progress in achieving strategic outcomes over time.
The following charts compare the results for previous years. The dimension averages chart compares the average result.
Four out of eight comparable dimensions received higher on average results in the current year than in the previous years, this indicates a level of improvement across the range of dimensions. 'Diversity' (+18/100) had the most improvement in dimension agreement over the year, an incredible result. 'Belonging' (-10/100), 'Local Impact' (-6/100) had lower results in the current year compared to the previous year's results, still receiving a positive result.
Last year, Melt Festival sought to develop a new segmentation approach to understanding typical visitor types and behaviour. A question set was developed to ask respondents about their positive and negative perceptions about visiting the local area.
The following charts detail the positive and negative influences that affected respondents' decision to visit the local area typically from the selection of options provided.
42% of respondents describe themselves as 'Light-Hearted'. Those who describe themselves as an 'Organiser' made up 31% of the sample. 'Adventurous' respondents made up 13% while 'Deep Thinkers' made up 9%. 5% of survey respondents descibe themselves as 'Passionate'.
57% of respondents claimed that the event was an important factor in their decision to visit the local area. 21% said it made no impact on their decision to visit the area.
'Facebook' (40%) was the most popular way to hear about Melt Festival amongst survey respondents followed by 'Instagram' (17%). 'Newspaper' was chosen the least which indicates that it isn't a common channel respondents use to hear about the festival.
Respondents were asked to leave any additional feedback about their experience at Melt Festival. This feedback has been classified into positive, neutral, or negative categories, with the percentage of feedback sentiment types presented in the following chart.
Feedback helps organisations understand where the value of visitor experiences lies and how they can be improved and strengthened in the future. A selection of comments have been highlighted underneath.
I look forward to Melt Festival every year. It's my favourite music festival!
So sick! Love the good vibes and the great music
So many new bands I've never heard of, they've included some local ones too. Great job!
Such a great platform for musicians and artists. Also a great cultural experience.
It's alright, not really my taste of music
I just came with a friend, sounded fun. it's alright so far
Needs to happen more than once a year
None of this music you can dance to! I want pop stars and rock stars!
Too many families
Brings in a horrible crowd
Spending questions ask survey respondents about how much they spent in the local area on items like shopping, food and beverage etc. as part of their attendance at the event. Respondents are asked to exclude accommodation or other travel expenses as these are separated as part of the economic impact calculations.
Respondents are also asked what they would have done otherwise if it was not for their attendance at the event. This question is used to determine 'additionality', which is the percentage of spending that could be considered to be additional, or could genuinely be attributed to the event. It is statistically defined as one minus the percentage of deadweight (1 - dw%), where deadweight is the economic outcome that would have happened in the absence of an activity.
The following charts show the visitor spending and additionality results used in the economic impact analysis, as well as what spending types respondents reported.
52% of respondents reported spending less than $99 per person at the event and in the local area, with most people reporting to have spent between $50-$99 (29%) and $0-49 (23%).
After outliers were removed, the average visit spends per person was determined as $116. A weighting is applied to spend results within the economic impact analysis depending on where respondents come from, and therefore this average result may differ from the weighted average. When both results are very close, it is understood to be a rigorous result.
43% of respondents reported spending money on food and 33% spent money on entertainment. respondents additionally spend money on drinks (9%) and transport/parking (8%), and shopping (7%). 30% of respondents claimed they would not have visited the area if the event had not taken place while 44% of respondents would have done something else in the local area if they had not attended the event.
Survey respondents who identified as living Intrastate, Interstate or Overseas were asked additional questions about their spending and reasons for visiting. This data is used to determine the economic impact of the event on tourism-related spending.
Tourism additionality asks respondents how much influence the event had on their decision to visit the local area. Tourists that indicated the event was their primary reason for visiting means that 100% of their trip spend is attributable to the event, whereas tourists that were unaware of the event before visiting indicate that the event was responsible for 0% of their trip spend.
A weighted exponential scale of attribution is applied to calculate an overall trip additionality figure in the economic impact calculations (i.e. 100%, 50%, 25%, 5%, 0%).
Respondents were also asked to identify their primary reason for travel. Response options for this question were sourced from Tourism Research Australia for benchmarking purposes.
Interstate visitors were most likely to visit the area to attend the festival, unlike regional visitors, who were least likely. 33% of overseas visitors and 32% of metropolitan area respondents cited the event to be the main reason for visiting the local area. 33% of international visitors were unaware of the festival and changed or extended their original plans.
Survey respondents were asked to estimate how much they had spent as part of their visit, the level of influence on their decision to visit, as well as indicate what they would have done if they had not visited. Combining this data with attendance figures allows an overall impact figure to be generated.
The economic impact is determined by three main factors:
Visits/Attendance: The number of people spending money (converted to the number of nights for accommodation and longer trips).
Spend: Spending in the local economy. Includes spend as part of a visit, spend on accommodation for those staying overnight and other trip-related spending for those staying multiple nights. Excludes spending on tickets or other items that would be captured through organisation expenditure (i.e. to avoid double-counting).
Additionality: The percentage of spending that would not have occurred otherwise.
To calculate the economic impact on the local area, only additional visitation is included. From those visits, only expenditure that would not have otherwise occurred is considered. In this case, the economic impact is from attendees who would have otherwise stayed at home, gone to work, or those who would have done something else outside the local area.
The tables below detail a breakdown of visitation by additionality (i.e. new visits to the area because of the vent), visitor expenditure (if they came and stayed in the area because of the event and any other spending they did), and total economic output.
|Local Council Area||1,480||$108.70||54%||$86,873|
|ORIGIN||NIGHTS||ACCOM SPEND/NIGHT||TRIP SPEND/NIGHT||ADDITIONALITY||TOTAL|
|Local Council Area||-||-||-||-||$0|
|DIRECT IMPACT||MULTIPLIED IMPACT|
|Total Nights Generated||8,276|
Event expenditure scaled by an output multiplier of 2.96, the national Food and Beverage multiplier (2.96).
Accommodation expenditure scaled by an output multiplier of 2.75, the national Accommodation multiplier.
Trip expenditure scaled by an output multiplier of 2.92, representing an average of national Retail and, Food and Beverage multipliers (2.88 and 2.96 respectively).
Organisation expenditure scaled by the Australian National Heritage, Creative and Performing Arts Output Multiplier (2.67).
This report has been prepared by Culture Counts. The authors would like to thank all stakeholders and staff for their participation in this research.
We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past and present.