Supercrawl is an annual celebration of the diversity of James North, the multi-disciplinary arts district in Hamilton, Ontario. The eighth edition of the music and arts festival was held in September of 2016 and was, by all accounts, one of the most successful yet. Over the three-day festival, an estimated 200,000 people descended on downtown Hamilton.
The festival is a super-charged version of the monthly Art Crawls on James St. North. It is a truly social event, where shops and galleries open their doors after hours for visitors to wander among the exhibits, sampling food, listening to music and soaking up the many sights and sounds of Hamilton’s creative district. Supercrawl takes Art Crawl to a whole new level by hosting major music acts, outdoor activities, food trucks, beer gardens, family events, and a diverse array of vendors.
Every year, Supercrawl organizers look to learn from the previous year’s event to make the next festival even better. To that end, Supercrawl has partnered with Civicplan to use our festival analytics to help expand their understanding of the nature of the event. Using our CivicSurveys platform, our team developed and analyzed results from festival attendee surveys to zero in on the demographics, preferences, and habits of Supercrawlers to assist organizers in planning for next year.
Growth, Diversity, Sustainability and Satisfaction
So what did the 2016 results show us? Growth, Diversity, Sustainability and Satisfaction.
- With the exception of a rain-soaked edition of the festival in 2015, attendance has steadily grown over the life of Supercrawl with police estimates topping 200,000 people in 2016.
- The majority of Supercrawlers who responded to the survey were younger (under 34 years old) and female (59%). 26 percent were between the ages of 35-54, while the remaining 21 percent were over 55 years old.
- Our festival analytics data also provided new insights into how people arrive at Supercrawl. This year, just over half of respondents arrived by car, which was a slight increase from previous years. The remaining respondents used a variety of sustainable means, including public transit, cycling, and walking. One quarter of respondents biked or walked, indicating the strong local roots of the festival. This fact is further reflected by the short travel time for many attendees, with 64 percent of respondents noting it took less than 20 minutes to reach the festival.
- While many attendees came from within Hamilton, the event attracts people from throughout the Golden Horseshoe region and the QEW corridor. More specifically, 76 percent of survey respondents reported coming from the city of Hamilton including former municipalities of Flamborough, Ancaster and Stoney Creek with another 12 percent of survey respondents reported coming from Halton, Peel, and Toronto.
- People love Supercrawl. 49 percent of respondents indicated they were very satisfied with the event this year. Of the 725 respondents, only four indicated they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. This level of satisfaction is reinforced by the fact that 69 percent of respondents reported that they had attended Supercrawl before.
- Survey respondents indicated that the top 3 most enjoyable aspects of Supercrawl were the music performances, art, and food trucks.
- Our survey also looked at how people heard about Supercrawl. 49 percent of respondents learned about the event through advertising, media coverage, and social/electronic media.
- Supercrawlers also created significant economic activity for the city. During the event, 89 percent of respondents indicated that they spent money at the festival. Around 47 percent spent up to $40 and 21 percent spent $60-250. Attendees had a variety of options on where to spend their money. The most common reported spending was on food trucks and restaurants. Attendees also purchased art and other items from local vendors.
As the 2016 festival analytics results show, Supercrawl continues to be an attractive destination for tens of thousands of people from across Hamilton, the region, and beyond. It is an important attraction for the downtown core and provides significant exposure and revenue for the local community and businesses. By tracking the demographics, preferences, and habits of Supercrawlers, we can assist organizers in making future festivals even better.