What really matters to the audience: analysing the key factors contributing to arts festival ticket purchases.
There are currently more than 300 annual festivals on the festival calendar in South Africa, of which arts festivals especially have grown in both number and size (Tassiopoulos 2005, p. 4, Van Zyl and Strydom 2007, p. 121).
The popularity of these festivals can be ascribed to the fact that they are known for their ability to fulfil important cultural, social and especially economic roles (Getz 1997, p. 5, Anderson and Getz 2008, p. 199). This is supported by Saayman et al. (2005, p. 7), who indicate that, in addition to sustaining different art forms and artists, arts festivals stimulate the growth of regional and local economies and promote specific destinations. However, saturating the market with festivals can result in unhealthy competition that threatens the sustainability of such festivals, since such a scenario results in festivals having to compete for limited resources (Getz 2002, p. 209, Mehmetoglu and Ellingsen 2005, p. 119, Van Zyl 2005, pp. 5-6, Van Zyl and Strydom 2007, p. 121). It is argued that the most important resource for festivals is festival revenue, of which ticket sales from audiences are, in most cases, one of the festivals' main sources of income (Anderson and Getz 2008, p. 207, p. 210, Kruger 2009, p. 3). Ticket sales not only allow arts festivals to fulfil one of their main purposes, to preserve and promote the arts, but they ultimately contribute to the profitability, economic impact and future sustainability of arts festivals (Kruger 2009, p. 4, p. 17). In addition to this, it is found that visitors who purchase tickets at festivals tend to stay for longer periods and spend more than visitors who are not interested in ticketed shows/productions (Thrane 2002, p. 281; Kruger et al., 2010a, p. 79). It is therefore a viable goal for festival management to focus on visitors who attend ticketed shows/productions (Kruger 2009, p. 3).
Currently, competition in the South African arts festival marketplace is having hefty repercussions on these invaluable ticket sales, as many festivals are experiencing continuous declines (Saayman and Saayman 2006, pp. 40-41, Kruger 2009, p. 3). Already in 2001 arts institutions were confronted with the increasing responsibility of not only providing quality arts, but of developing marketing strategies that appeal especially to the ticket-purchasing market (Rentschler et al., 2001, p. 118).
Market research must therefore be conducted so that arts festival organisers and marketers can better understand customers' purchasing behaviour (and, more specifically, the factors that contribute to positive purchasing behaviour) with the intention of planning marketing strategies accordingly (Scheff-Bernstein 2007, p. 143). Such factors can be actively manipulated by the marketer to improve ticket purchases and, ultimately, festival revenue (Walo et al., 1997, p. 96, Uys 2003, p. 11, Scheff-Bernstein 2007, p. 143, Smith 2007, p. 185, Shah and De Souza 2009, p. 127). To date researchers have focused on various aspects influencing ticket purchase behaviour. However, there is limited consensus as to which aspects are the most important, and research in this field, specifically for South African arts festivals, is inadequate (Botha 2011, p. 101). Market research that assists these arts festival marketers to understand which key factors contribute to ticket purchases is therefore essential. This will assist to some extent in dealing with the current declines in ticket sales, ensuring that a significant portion of the festivals' revenue is generated and, as a result, contributing to the sustainability of South African arts festivals in a very competitive market.
2. Literature review
McCarthy and Jinnet (2001, p. 23) state that 'an individual's decision to take a specific action involves a complex mix of attitudes, intentions, constraints, and behaviours, as well as feedback between past experiences and the mix of attitudes and intentions.' This article supports this view and recognises that the decision to participate in the arts involves a complex set of considerations and is influenced by many aspects (McCarthy and Jinnet 2001, p. 23).
A great variety of aspects influencing ticket purchase behaviour, attendance and demand for a variety of performances is evident in the literature. These aspects include cultural, social, personal and psychological elements that have an effect on the consumer's characteristics which, in turn, influences the consumer's decision-making process at different levels (LSE 2010, p. 39). Product-related aspects (such as facilities, atmosphere, price and reputation of the performer/s) and situational aspects (such as availability of time, money, childcare and transport) are also evident in the literature (Caldwell 2001, pp. 499-502). Marketing stimuli, as well as micro-and macro-environmental stimuli, are aspects that can also impact on the purchaser's decision (LSE 2010, p. 40). Changes in these aspects that influence consumer's purchasing could affect demand (LSE 2010, pp. 35-36). Some of these aspects will be discussed below. For the purposes of this study, the aspects are simplistically categorised according to five general themes. These are: economic aspects; aspects relating to the venue/facilities; aspects relating to performances/productions; marketing-related aspects: and, lastly, personal/social aspects.
2.1. Economic aspects
Studies that capture the influence of economically-related aspects on the demand for artistic-cultural goods and services include Borgonovi (2004, p. 1871), who stated that 'price' reflects, besides the value of the good itself, the opportunity cost of consumption. Scheff (1999, p. 16) found that, as ticket prices increase, attendance will decrease. The demand and consumption for artistic-cultural goods and services is also positively related to the consumer's 'income' (Borgonovi 2004, p. 1871, Diniz and Machado 2011, p. 4). However, the empirical evidence in a study conducted by Diniz and Machado (2011, p. 4) regarding the effect of income on cultural consumption is mixed. The results from Snowball's study (2005, p. 120) suggest that 'willingness to pay,' to support the festivals depends on household income, attendance at free shows, opinions about educational value, future use value, pride, age and gender, to name a few.
'Perceived value for money' can also influence demand. Scheff's study (1999, p. 23) found that opera patrons reported inadequate value for the money as a reason for attending fewer performances. This perception of value of a cultural good can be determined or influenced by the tastes of peers, the effect of media and the current trend (Diniz and Machado 2011, p. 3; Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette 2003, p. 2).
2.2. Venue and facility aspects
Aspects relating to the venue and facilities are also evident in the literature, for instance 'the quality of the venue facilities'. Urrutiaguer (2002, p. 187) found that auditorium comfort is an important sign of quality that will be remembered by part of the audience. The intent to repurchase is determined by quality and service aspects such as venue quality display, performed acts, attributes of the setting (staging) and amenities (Hume 2008, p. 349, Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70). The 'general accessibility of the venue' because of inconvenient location is evident in Scheff's study (1999, p. 22), which found that this contributed to a decrease in attendance. McCarthy and Jinnet (2001, p. 96) agreed with this, stating that an arts organisation that is not accessible is a practical barrier to participation in the arts. 'Sufficient parking facilities' is yet another contributor of venue accessibility that positively affects value and enhances repeat visitation intentions (Yoon et al., 2010, p. 337, p. 341). The 'efficiency and user-friendliness of internet-based ticketing systems' is supported by authors such as Tobias (2004, p. 109) and Diniz and Machado (2011, p. 3), who state that the consumption decision is based on the distribution of the service or good. Ticketing agents (who often render Internet-based ticketing services) are important for events such as outdoor festivals to simplify bookings; operate around the clock, any day of the week; can handle large group bookings; and deal with peaks in demand (Smith 2007, p. 187; Allen et al., 2005, p. 101; Beaven and Laws 2004, p. 183). Smith found that the success of infrequently occurring events (such as festivals) is dependent on the effective and efficient distribution of tickets (and thus 'accessibility of ticketing systems/services at the festival'), since such events often do not have a permanent physical base from which to make sales (Smith 2007, pp. 186-187).
2.3. Performance and production aspects
Performance and production-related aspects that contribute to ticket purchases are also prominent in the literature, including 'familiarity and reputation of the playwright/author/composer of the performance' as well as 'familiarity and reputation of the actor/cast/artist/musician in the performance'. Akdede and King (2006, p. 227) found that plays with a known author affect attendance significantly and positively; and that there should be a focus on producing internationally known playwrights, as this tends to increase paid attendance. The consumer also bases his consumption decision on information about those involved in the production (Tobias 2004, p. 109, Diniz and Machado 2011, p. 3). Boyle and Chiou (2009, p. 62) found that the reputation of actors, choreographers, etc. (because of their awards and nominations for awards) leads to increased attendance at performances. Scheff's study (1999, p. 20) discovered that special occasion/celebration performances were the third most important reason for opera attendance, therefore supporting the notion that 'a once-offor special edition performance considered to be a must-see' is a contributor to attendance. The 'overall compilation of a festival programme that caters for the individual's festival needs' is especially an aspect of great significance, as confirmed by Lee et al. (2008, p. 56), who identified programme content as a contributor to attendees' loyalty.
Gursoy et al. (2006, p. 279) stated that people are motivated to visit festivals for well-organised programmes geared toward the needs of attendees. The 'preference for/interest in a specific genre' as an aspect that contributes to ticket purchases is supported by Scheff (1999, p. 20), who found that interest in a specific production or repertoire was the most common reason by far why people purchase tickets to a performance. 'Timeslots of performance/s' also has an effect, as evident in Corning and Levy's study (2002, p. 230), which found that attendance at evening and weekend performances is high amongst festival patrons; and the inability to schedule performances in advance leads to a decrease in attendance (Scheff 1999, p. 21). With regard to 'award-winning performances,' researchers have confirmed that performances which have been nominated for awards and have won awards can increase market share and revenues as opposed to performances that have not (Nelson et al., 2001, p. 1, Deuchert et al., 2005, p. 161). In addition to this, the 'desire to attend a follow-up/sequel performance since the original performance was thoroughly enjoyed' is supported by Gemser et al. (2007, p. 52), who make provision for sequels in their study. Prior works (such as the original performance) enable consumers to perceive and evaluate to some extent the new performance in advance and may, as a result, receive more attention in the media.
2.4. Marketing-related aspects
Marketing-related aspects receive tremendous attention in the literature too, and are often associated with elaborate financial implications for the festival/theatre organisation. They are also recognised for their persuasive power in purchasing decisions and their effective ability to convey information regarding the (festival/ theatre) product. Marketing aspects include, amongst others, 'word-of-mouth,' which was found to be closely related to the purchasing of tickets at a theatre festival (Slack et al., 2007, p. 53). Moore's study (1968, p. 79) revealed that approximately 50% of respondents attended a particular show as a result of a wordof-mouth recommendation. Another marketing-related aspect is 'the festival website.' Slack et al. (2007, pp. 52-53) found that the use of the website was one of the channels used by theatre festival attendees during all the stages of the consumer decision-making process, including the purchase transaction itself. In the study conducted by Nilsson et al. (2001, p. 35) it was stated that the dissemination of information regarding the festival programme by means of the festival website can be done with great success. 'Festival newspapers' that portray the festival programme (which contributes to people attending performances) will provide another channel through which readers can be informed about performances and encourage attendance at that performance (Scheff 1999, p. 25, Nilsson et al., 2001, p. 36). 'Radio interviews/discussions of performances' as well as 'television interviews/ discussions of performances' are also included in literature studies on performance demand and attendance. McCarthy and Jinnet (2001, p. 101) state that individuals use a variety of ways to get information about their leisure choices, such as talking to friends, listening to the radio, watching TV, reading and attending community meetings. Slack et al. (2007, pp. 51-53) found that guest appearances/interviews on local radio as well as television contributed to the consumer decision-making process of theatre festival attendees.
With regards to the aspect 'festival guides/programme,' Baker and Crompton (2000, p. 785) found that printed programmes as an information source strongly predicted behavioural intentions. Festival guides (booklet giving performance and venue details) shows in Slack et al.'s study (2007, p. 51, p. 53) that it assisted visitors with the information and choice stages in the consumer decision-making process. Lee et al. (2008, p. 58) identified programme content as a contributor towards attendees loyalty. The literature also emphasises 'written reviews of performances in newspapers and magazines as an aspect contributing to demand for and consumption of the arts. Gemser et al. (2007, p. 43) state that critics and their reviews can play an important role in consumer decision making in general. Reviews allow for the risk of buying something to be minimised, the agent basing his consumption decision on the opinion of the critics (Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette 2003, p. 2; Diniz and Machado 2011, p. 3). 'The festival image/brand that conveys the origin/source and reputation of the good or service can be a determinant of the perception of the quality of the good, thus suggesting a purchase with a lesser risk and an important reason for attendance (Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette 2003, p. 3, Scheff 1999, p. 20).
2.5. Personal and social aspects
Studies that capture the contribution of personal and social aspects related to the consumption of artistic-cultural goods and services include the 'desire to take family members or friends to attend performances. A festival environment that offers socialisation (with family and friends) is found to contribute to the reasons why individuals attend festival performances (Bowen and Daniels 2005, p. 155, Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70). Upright (2004, p. 134) found that spousal relationships are particularly influential in arts participation, since the characteristics of an individual may reinforce their spouse's inclination towards arts participation and provide a surrogate background that will lead to greater participation in the arts. The 'desire to support a colleague, friend or family member who performs in the show/production can also be considered as a contributor of arts participation. MacArthur (2008, p. 15), for instance, stated that music artists rely on outside support such as family or friends when dealing with the pressure of rehearsals and performances. 'Love for the arts and desire to see as many productions as possible is also evident in the literature. Studies such as those from Stigler and Becker (1977, p. 67) and Peterson (2005, p. 257) reveal that previous exposure and past experiences of the arts can lead to further participation in the arts (rational addiction) and higher social class arts lovers/cultural consumers are also likely to be cultural omnivores (consume performances across a wide variety of genres). 'As an avid fan, the urge to see a specific actor/cast/artist/musician in real life is yet another aspect supported by researchers such as Scheff (1999, p. 20), who indicate that interest in a specific artist was an extremely important reason for attendance at symphony concerts.
The opportunity to see a specific artist perform is found to be a very specific reason why festival attendees are attracted to a festival in the first place (Bowen and Daniels 2005, p. 155, Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70), and are willing to pay more for shows with professional or semi-professional actors as opposed to amateur actors (Willis and Snowball 2009, p. 176, p. 182). 'The atmosphere at the festival that creates a desire to attend more performance/s than originally planned can also contribute to further ticket purchases. A charged, exciting atmosphere and an environment that offers ample opportunity to socialise is suggested as a reason why people are motivated to attend a festival performance (Bowen and Daniels 2005, Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70). In addition to this, Elliott and Hamilton (1991, p. 325) found that 'doing something to match the mood of the respondent were the main tactics used regarding leisure choices. Perhaps one of the most important aspects contributing to attendance at performances is the 'ability to schedule performances in advance. Scheff (1999, p. 21) found that 40% of attendees who have attended fewer performances than in the past ascribed this to the difficulty of scheduling in advance. Putler and Lele (2003, p. 318) found that the marketing director of a theatre increases the potential number of aware theatre attendees by sending promotional material in advance (prior to the start of the season). 'Sufficient leisure time at hand to attend performances is considered to be a definite determinant of cultural-artistic consumption in modern households (Michael and Becker 1973, p. 378). Less recreational time contributing to patrons reasons for attending fewer performances is confirmed by Scheff's findings (1999, p. 22), whereas Boyle and Chiou (2009, p. 62) indicated that fixed time of attendees results in their having to choose shows selectively (and perhaps fewer shows).
The literature is robust in studies that explore the aspects that contribute to positive ticket purchase behaviour, attendance and demand for the arts. However, there is limited consensus as to which aspects are the greatest contributors of arts festival ticket purchases, specifically in the South African context. Market research that can contribute to a better understanding of this ticket-purchasing market by analysing the key factors that contribute to ticket purchases is therefore essential.
This article therefore aims to identify and analyse the key factors contributing to arts festival ticket purchases, specifically for South African arts festivals, since such research is inadequate. These key factors (dependent variables) will then be further analysed by determining how they relate to two independent variables, age and number of days spent at the festival. The latter independent variable was selected, since ticket-purchasing visitors who stay for longer periods of time spend more money (Thrane 2002, p. 281, Kruger et al., 2010a, p. 79) and therefore contribute more to the festival's revenue and sustainability. Age, on the other hand, is a variable that can provide helpful insights for festival organisers and marketers, since it has proved to be a pertinent demographic segmentation variable in research relating to festivals, revealing definite characteristic differences between older and younger (and in some instances middle-aged) visitors/tourists (Botha and Slabbert 2011, p. 4). Conducting this analysis will contribute to a better understanding of the ticket purchasing behaviour of attendees at South African arts festivals, as well as providing festival marketers with insights to develop strategies that cater for needs of this ticket-purchasing market. Satisfied frequent participants may well become habitual attendees (McCarthy and Jinnet 2001, p. 29), thus securing a prominent portion of the festival is revenue through ticket sales. This analysis is necessary to address the current declines in South African arts festival ticket sales and, ultimately, the sustainability of this competitive market. The main contribution of this article is to identify and analyse the key factors contributing to South African arts festival ticket purchases.
The methodology will be discussed with reference to the questionnaire; the study regions; data collection and processing; and lastly the sampling framework.
3.1. The questionnaire
The questionnaire was divided into two sections. Section A consisted mainly of closed questions regarding socio-demographics (such as age, province of residence) and behavioural elements (such as the number of people for whom they purchased tickets, the number of tickets purchased for productions, the number of times they have visited the festival before, and the number of days they are attending the festival).
Section B covered the aspects that contribute to ticket purchases. The item pool for the questionnaire was generated by means of the Delphi technique. This entailed the involvement of experts in the field of tourism events and events marketing, who were required to rate the importance of an item to be included into the questionnaire. After completion of the pre-testing and purification phase done by means of the Delphi technique, 32 aspects that contribute to ticket purchases (all important, according to the Delphi panel) were incorporated in the questionnaire as Section B. Each item was expressed in a way that required respondents to indicate the extent to which each aspect contributed to their purchasing a ticket/tickets. This was done by means of a five-point Likert scale of measurement, with options ranging from: 1 = made no contribution; 2 = made a small contribution; 3 = made a contribution; 4 = made a significant contribution; and 5 =Made a maximum contribution.
3.2. Study regions
The questionnaire was distributed at two arts festivals in South Africa, namely the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival and the Innibos National Arts Festival. These two Afrikaans arts festivals were chosen since a prominent portion of the current arts festival market in South Africa is Afrikaans. In addition to this, they differ in size, market profile, years since inception, time of year, as well as programme content, thus allowing for diversity in festival characteristics. The different location of each festival (Innibos situated in the northern part of the country and KKNK situated in the south) also assists in limiting the possible overlap in respondents, and captures a wider range of opinions/feedback geographically. Most importantly, both these selected festivals have already indicated a decline in ticket sales (Botha 2011, p. 3) and are considered, for the purposes of this research, as products of the competitive South African festival market.
The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival was held from 2 to 9 April 2011. It is an annual festival hosted in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape province. The main aim of the KKNK is to promote the arts in Afrikaans, as well as to give the host community of Oudtshoorn a financial injection by using the festival as a mass tourism attraction. This festival annually attracts over a duration of eight days about 1,000 artists as well as 200 productions and exhibitions. The event makes provision for both visual and performing arts--drama, cabaret, musical theatre, classical music, jazz and light music. Open-air concerts are also a popular feature at the KKNK (Kitshoff 2004, p. 237, Anon. 2001, p. 2, KKNK 2010, p. 1).
The Innibos National Arts Festival was held from 29 June to 2 July 2011. Innibos is also an annual art festival, held in Mbombela in the Mpumalanga province. The festival hosts music, theatre, cabaret, children's theatre, literature and the visual arts. More than 200 musicians, actors and artists present their talents at this family-orientated festival, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually. Approximately 200 arts-and-crafts stalls and food stalls, restaurants, beer gardens and a children's entertainment area can also be found on the festival terrain (INNIBOS 2011, p. 1).
3.3. Data collection and processing
The self-administered questionnaire was handed out at different on-site locations (to limit response bias) where ticket-purchasing tourists were present (such as the show/production venues and ticket offices/facilities) at the two different arts festivals. These ticket-purchasing respondents were briefed about the purpose of the research and it was ensured that they were willing and honest participants. Fieldworkers were trained to ensure that they, too, understood the purpose of the study and the questionnaire so as to assist respondents where necessary, but without interfering with the completion thereof. Questionnaires were distributed on each day of each festival period (KKNK over eight days and Innibos over five days). This ensured that the feedback received by the sample population was an accurate portrayal of visitors ticket purchases. For the duration of the two festivals, a purposive sampling method was used to conduct the surveys, based on a screening question focused on the purchasing of arts festival tickets.
The data were captured in MicrosoftTM Excel and analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). Factor analyses were performed for purposes of validity and reliability of the data and to synthesise the large amount of data into smaller and more descriptive factors. In order to further analyse these factors, effect sizes were calculated to determine the size of the effect of specific independent variables (age, number of days the festivals were visited) on the factors that contribute to ticket purchases.
3.4. Sampling framework
In 2009 44,934 visitors attended the KKNK (Slabbert et al., 2009, p. 38). An increase
in the sample size (n), in proportion to the size of the population (N) from which the sample is drawn, results in a decrease in the standard error. According to Israel (2009, p. 6), from a population of 50,000 (N), 397 respondents (n) are seen as representative and result in a 95% level of confidence with a 9 5% sampling error. Six hundred and fifty questionnaires were distributed and 635 usable questionnaires were gathered. According to the formula, this is suitable, since it is greater than the required number of questionnaires resulting in a representative and adequate sample size.
The survey population for Innibos was also selected from a group of people who attended the festival and who purchased tickets. In 2010 59,049 visitors attended Innibos (Kruger et al., 2010b, p. 19). An increase in the sample size (n), in proportion to the size of the population (N) from which the sample is drawn results in a decrease in the standard error. Six hundred questionnaires were distributed at Innibos, which was slightly fewer than at the KKNK, since the number of productions and the visitors attending these productions were fewer than those of the KKNK. Five hundred and twelve usable questionnaires were gathered, and according to Israel s formula stated above (2009, p. 6), this sample size is representative and adequate, since it is greater than the required number of questionnaires. The combined sample size from the two festivals is therefore 1,147 questionnaires.
The results are presented in three sections, the general profile of the 2011 respondent population at the two arts festivals, the results of the factor analyses and, lastly, the effect sizes.
4.1. General profile of festival respondents
Table 1 indicates that most respondents were middle-aged and older adults with an average age of 47. The results also indicate that the majority of the respondents are from the Western Cape (32%); Mpumalanga (25%) and Gauteng (23%) provinces. First-time visitors account for 21% of the respondents, while most of the respondents are repeat visitors (79%),who have visited the festival an average of five times. In addition to this, respondents stay an average of four days at the festivals. Their most preferred performances include the genres drama (66%); comedy (42%); music theatre and cabaret (27%); and they purchase an average of four tickets per person.
4.2. Results of the factor analyses
The two datasets from the two festivals were merged and an exploratory factor analysis was done on the combined dataset. The factor analysis on the combined dataset resulted in all 32 items loading on seven key factors, (see Table 2 below). These seven key factors were labelled as Media (Factor 1); Monetary facets (Factor 2); Quality facilities (Factor 3); Internal motives (Factor 4); Festival experience (Factor 5); Production credentials (Factor 6); and Festival programming (Factor 7). The Cronbach's Alpha coefficients for each factor were between 0.67 and 0.86, thereby confirming the reliability of the combined dataset (Field 2000, p. 437, Nunnally 1967, p. 226).
The mean values of the seven factors identified above clearly indicated that production credentials (familiarity and reputation of the actor, cast, artist, or musician; and the familiarity and reputation of the playwright, author or composer of the performance) are the most important factor contributing to arts festival ticket purchases; with a mean value of 3.91. This was followed by the festival experience (ability to schedule shows in advance, sufficient leisure time at hand, atmosphere and spirit experienced at shows, and the festival image and brand), with a mean value of 3.57. Festival programming (3.41), quality facilities (3.21) and internal motives (3.18) followed. A very interesting finding is that the two factors that contributed least out of all the seven factors were media (2.87) and monetary facets (2.80).
4.3. Results of the effect sizes
Once the factor analysis was completed, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to test for significant differences in the mean values of behavioural (number of days spent at the festival) and demographic (age) variables, based on each of the seven key factors (dependent variables) identified by the factor analysis. Categories were created for the data of these two independent variables, as measured by the questionnaire. Five 'age' categories and three 'number of days spent at the festival' categories were therefore used.
4.3.1. Number of days
Taking into consideration the difference in the total number of festival days between the KKNK (eight days) and Innibos (five days), three categories were created for 'number of days spent at the festival.' They were divided as follows: Category 1 =1-2 days; Category 2 = 3-4 days; and Category 3 = 5 or more days spent at the festival.
All three categories were tested for statistically significant differences by means of an ANOVA, of which all of the effect sizes were below 0.5, and therefore not considered practically meaningful (Ellis and Steyn 2003, p. 53).
The five categories applicable to age were: Category 1 = <25; Category 2 =26-35 years; Category 3 =36-45 years; Category 4 =46-60 years; and Category 5 =61 + years. All five categories were tested for statistically significant differences by means of an ANOVA, of which all of the effect sizes were below 0.5 and once again not considered practically meaningful (Ellis and Steyn 2003, p. 53).
These results from the effect sizes do indeed provide insights into the ticket-purchasing market, since they suggest that attendees are motivated by the same factors to purchase tickets, regardless of their ages and the time they spend at the festival. This implies that, with regards to these independent variables, the market is homogenous, thus providing festival organisers and marketers with valuable insights when compiling effective marketing strategies, thus simplifying the marketing for marketers.
The purpose of this research was to identify and analyse the key factors contributing to South African arts festival ticket purchases, since such research is currently inadequate. This was done to gain a better understanding of this ticket-purchasing market, and to assist festival organisers and marketers to plan their marketing strategies accordingly. Based on the analysis of the results, eight conclusions are reported below.
Firstly, the factor analysis revealed that 'production credentials' (familiarity and reputation of the actor, cast, artist, or musician; and the familiarity and reputation of the playwright, author or composer of the performance) is the most important factor contributing to arts festival ticket purchases. Many studies confirmed that the items/ aspects present in this factor, positively influence demand for the arts/performances, such as Throsby (1990, p. 162); Abbe-Decarroux (1994, p. 102); Urrutiaguer (2002, p. 186); Lampel and Shamsie (2000, p. 234); Willis and Snowball (2009, p. 167); Throsby (1983, p. 65); Akdede and King (2006, p. 223); Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette (2003, p. 7); Scheff (1999, p. 24); Putler and Lele (2003, p. 311); Wallace et al. (1993, p. 2); Sochay (1994, p. 7); Albert (1998, p. 262); Litman and Kohl (1989, p. 43); Bagella and Becchetti (1999, p. 249); Litman and Ahn (1998, p. 371); and Zufryden (2000, p. 57). However, it is not clear whether these aspects are considered to be the most important when compared to the many other influencing aspects found in the literature, since these studies often focus only on selected aspects. The study by Willis and Snowball in particular was also based on a South African arts festival and these aspects (reputation of author, producer and cast) were identified as quality indicators that acted as a determinant of ticket sales.
Secondly, the factor 'festival experience' (ability to schedule shows in advance, sufficient leisure time at hand, atmosphere and spirit experienced at shows, and the festival image and brand), was found to be the next most important contributor of ticket purchases. Similar studies support the items/aspects within this factor; however, none of them had these items grouped together as one factor. The ability to schedule shows in advance is supported by literature studies of Moe and Fader (2009, p. 74); Swanson et al., (2008, p. 303); Halcoussis and Mathews (2007, p. 67); Felton (1989, p. 57); Beaven and Laws (2005); Smith (2007, p. 190); and Scheff (1999, p. 24). Sufficient leisure time at hand is also supported by Ateca-Amestoy (2008, p. 133); Werck and Heyndels (2007, p. 26); Frey and Vautravers-Busehart (2000, p. 87); Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette (2003, p. 7); Felton (1989, p. 57); Scheff (1999, p. 24); Putler and Lele (2003, p. 311); Withers (1980, p. 740). The atmosphere and spirit experienced at the event, as a contributor of demand, were evident in studies conducted by Holbrook and Hirschman (1982, p. 138); Elliott and Hamilton (1991, p. 326); Smith (2007, p. 190); as well as Lee et al. (2008, p. 62). The image and brand of the event/festival is a very scarce item found in the studies of Urrutiaguer (2002, p. 186); and Scheff (1999, p. 25).
Thirdly, the items in the factor 'festival programming' (preference of a genre, timeslot of shows, provision of 'once-off' or 'special edition' shows/productions within the programme, and overall compilation of the festival programme) is a very prominent contributor to demand for the arts/performances in the literature. Timeslots in particular are considered to be a very important determinant of participation; this is also evident in the studies by Ateca-Amestoy (2008, p. 133); Courty (2000, p. 189); Smith (2007, p. 190); Scheff (1999, p. 25); Putler and Lele (2003, p. 311); Weinberg (1986, p. 155); Boyle and Chiou (2009, p. 51). The preferences for specific genres should also not be underestimated, especially as the literature indicates that much emphasis has been placed on this item. These include studies by Abbe-Decarroux (1994, p. 102); Ateca-Amestoy (2008, p. 133); Willis and Snowball (2009, p. 167); Colbert (2003, p. 31); Corning and Levy (2002, p. 218); Akdede and King (2006, p. 220); Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette (2003, p. 7); Scheff (1999, p. 24); as well as Putler and Lele (2003, p. 311). Once again, none of these studies had these items grouped together as one factor.
Fourthly, 'quality facilities' comprises of items rich in the literature. This can be ascribed to the fact the attendees experience can be directly affected by aspects such as the general accessibility of the venue (as supported by Scheff 1999, p. 22 and Yoon et al., 2010, p. 337, p. 341); as well as the standard and quality of the venue facilities (supported by Urrutiaguer 2002, p. 187 and Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70). There is a great deal of literature on aspects relating to ticketing, including the items ' accessibility of ticketing systems/services at the festival' (strongly motivated by Smith 2007, pp. 186-187); and 'efficiency and user-friendliness of ticketing systems via the Internet' (confirmed in two different studies by Beaven and Laws 2007, p. 120, 2004, p. 183). It is not surprising to find that 'quality facilities' is directly associated with the aspect 'value for money'; which is substantiated by Borgonovi (2004, p. 1871).
Fifthly, the items in the factor 'internal motives' are supported in the literature, but as separate entities. To attend performances with family and friends is, in many studies, considered to be social motive. However, social motives are often embedded in personal/internal needs (Bowen and Daniels 2005, p. 155, Tkaczynski and Stokes 2010, p. 70); hence the factor label 'internal motives.' The desire to see as many shows as possible is supported by Stigler and Becker (1977, p. 76). These authors (Stigler and Becker 1977, p. 76), together with Gemser et al. (2007, p. 52), also confirm the desire to attend follow-up (sequel) performances. Being an avid fan desiring to see the performers in real life is an aspect also found to be important by Bowen and Daniels (2005, p. 155), Tkaczynski and Stokes (2010, p. 70) and Willis and Snowball (2009, p. 182). The item 'desire to support a colleague, friend or family member who performs in the show' is not abundant in the literature; however, it is supported by MacArthur (2008, p. 15).
The sixth conclusion was rather surprising, in that 'media' was the second least important factor contributing to arts festival ticket purchases in the context of all seven factors, regardless of the tremendous attention that marketing or advertising often receives in the literature. Perhaps the reason for this is that the festivals' current advertising messages succeed better in creating an overall awareness/reminder of the event as a whole, and do not necessarily have a direct influence on the decision to purchase a ticket/s for productions. The items in the 'media' factor are present in many studies pertaining to the arts. The study by Slack et al. (2007, pp. 52-53) supports radio/television interviews/discussions as well as television advertisements. The factor written reviews is profuse in the literature, including studies by Gemser et al. (2007, p. 43), Levy-Garboua and Montmarquette (2003, p. 2) and Reinstein and Snyder (2005, p. 27). The festival guide/programme is an aspect supported by Lee et al. (2008, p. 58) and Akdede and King (2006, p. 230). Evident in a study by Nilsson et al. (2001, p. 36) is festival newspapers; and the aspect a festival website is apparent in research by Slack et al. (2007, p. 52-53). Word-of-mouth is supported by Tobias (2004, p. 110) and Deuchert et al. (2005, p. 161). The aspect 'award-winning shows' present in the factor 'media' perhaps suggests that these above-average performances 'market' the festival as an event associated with quality shows. In the literature this aspect is known to contribute to revenues as a result of greater ticket sales (as supported by Nelson et al., 2001, p. 15).
The seventh conclusion drawn is that the factor 'monetary facets' is the least important of the seven factors contributing to arts festival ticket purchases. Nonetheless, the items found in this factor (ticket prices, willingness to pay for tickets prices, ability to pay/affordability of tickets) are perhaps the most predominant in the literature regarding aspects that influence ticket purchases and/or attendance and demand for arts and cultural performances (Diniz and Machado 2011, p. 4, Scheff 1999, p. 16, Snowball 2005, p. 109). However, it is not clear, once again, how much more (or less) these monetary aspects contribute to the ticket purchase/s when compared to the many other influencing aspects identified in the literature.
Lastly, an important conclusion from this study with regards to the ages of attendees and the days they spend at the festival is that this has no influence on the factors that contribute to their ticket purchases. This suggests that the ticket-purchasing market for South African arts festivals is homogenous in this regard.
Several implications can be derived from these conclusions.
* First and foremost, the festival organisers/marketers must ensure that production credentials (familiarity and reputation of the actor, cast, artist, or musician; and the familiarity and reputation of the playwright, author or composer) of the performances to be held at that year's festivals are emphasised. The key is to ensure that the renowned actors, musicians and playwright are included into the festival programme and that they are well promoted, since 'the name says it all.'
* The total experience associated with the festival is the next most important factor to be considered. This can be successfully ensured by advertising the festival and releasing the festival programme well in advance, where possible. This will make provision for attendees to schedule shows in advance. In addition to this, festivals should preferably be held over holiday seasons to accommodate attendees during a time of year where they have sufficient leisure time at hand. The festival's image and brand must emphasise the atmosphere and spirit associated with the festival and its shows.
* The festival programming must make provision for sufficient shows across the preferred genres (drama, comedy, music theatre and cabaret); as well as careful consideration, planning and synchronisation regarding the timeslots of shows. The festival programme must also include 'once off' or 'special edition' performances, as these are popular among attendees. These elements regarding programming will ensure that the overall compilation of the festival programme is what the ticket-purchasing market wants.
* It is also important for the festival organisers/marketers to build the festival's image and brand to indicate a festival that is associated with quality. Special attention should be given to ensuring that the quality of the venue facilities (sound and visibility during the performance), accessibility of the venues, accessibility of ticketing facilities, as well as the user friendliness of these ticketing systems, is provided. Associating the festival with quality facilities/ service will contribute to a sense of value for money, which is of great importance to the ticket purchaser.
* The internal motives of attendees should also be considered by festival organisers and marketers, since these reveal their desire to attend performances with family and friends, to see as many shows as possible (including especially follow-up shows), and as an avid fan desiring to see the performers in real life.
* The production credentials and festival programme should be advertised by means of specific media (television and radio interviews/discussions; television advertisements; written reviews; the festival guide; festival newspapers; and festival website), since these channels are the most prominent media that contribute to the ticket purchases of attendees. Using other advertising media (such as billboards and flyers) would not only be more costly, but it would not be as effective as using the recommended media. Award-winning performances should also be well advertised by these media, as this can only be beneficial for the image of the festival. This in turn could result in positive word-of-mouth regarding the quality productions hosted at these festivals.
* Monetary facets (ticket prices, affordability, and willingness to pay) are not considered to be such an important factor contributing to ticket purchases when compared to the other factors. Festival organisers and marketers can therefore consider gradual, yet sufficient, increases each year, without the concern of facing too much resistance from this market. However, such a strategy should only be followed in combination with the festival striving towards catering for the needs of this market (as stipulated above).
* With regards to the ages of attendees and the days they spend at the festival having no influence on the factors that contribute to their ticket purchases, festival organisers/marketers do not have to channel their energies into formulating a festival programme and/or packages that focus of specific markets (such as younger, middle and older age groups), since all age groups are driven by the same key factors. The same applies to the number of days attendees spend at the festival. For instance, attendees who spend few days at the festival are not necessarily driven by specific or different factors to purchase tickets when compared to attendees who stay for the entire festival
period. This simplifies the task of festival organisers/marketers, since focusing on the key factors alone will be sufficient in providing for the needs of this homogenous market, regardless of their age and the number of days they spend at the festival. If organisers make provision for performances with the 'big names' every day of the festival duration, visitors (regardless of their visiting few or many of the festival days) will have the opportunity to book for the performances they favour on the days they prefer. * The insights resulting from this study suggest that among the many factors that can influence ticket purchase behaviour there are definite and specific key factors that contribute to South African arts festival ticket purchases. As a result, specific marketing implications, such as those mentioned above, will assist festival organisers/marketers to specifically cater for this ticket-purchasing market. This will facilitate maintaining and increasing their involvement in the arts. Satisfied frequent participants may well become habitual attendees (McCarthy and Jinnet 2001, p. 29), thus securing a prominent portion of the festival's revenue through ticket sales and, ultimately, addressing declining ticket sales in a very competitive arts festival market.
It is recommended that the questionnaire be used at various other arts festivals in South Africa to determine whether these factors are also the key factors that contribute to ticket purchases at those festivals. This will allow for comparative studies, which will assist in obtaining further insight into the arts festival ticket-purchasing market as a whole. Adapting the questionnaire slightly to make provision for a broader base of arts/music/cultural performances upon which this research can be conducted (not just arts festivals) is also recommended. This will explore whether attendees of arts performances at festivals differ from the arts performance attendees to once-off shows (such as a civic theatre production). This will broaden the research field regarding attendance at the performing arts. Studies that focus in greater depth on the media/marketing component of arts festivals and its effect on ticket purchase behaviour is also recommended--for instance, making provision for the extent of exposure to a particular advertisement, or analysing specifically the content of an advertisement and determining its influence on positive purchase behaviour.
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Karin Botha *, Pierre-Andre Viviers and Elmarie Slabbert School for Business Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
* Corresponding author. Email: Karin.Botha@nwu.ac.za
Table 1. Profile of ticket purchasers at KKNK and Innibos 2011. Percentage Variable (%) N = 1147 Age: <26 11% 26-35 12% 36-45 21% 46-60 37% 61+ 19% Average Age: 47 years Province of origin: Western Cape 32% Mpumalanga 25% Gauteng 23% Eastern Cape 7% Free State 3% KwaZulu-Natal 3% North West 3% Limpopo 2% Northern Cape 1% Outside RSA borders 1% Previous visits to festivals: First time 21% 2-4 times 36% 5-7 times 18% 8+ times 25% Average visits 5 times Percentage (%) Variable N = 1147 Days spent at festival: 1-2 days 22% 3-4 days 43% 5-6 days 20% 7+ days 15% Average days spent: 4days * Genre of attended shows: Drama 66% Comedy 42% Music theatre and cabaret 27% Classical music 8% Choir and ensemble 7% Rock 6% Dance 6% Visual arts and exhibitions 5% Theatre discussions 4% Word art, poetry 4% Children's theatre 3% Jazz 2% Average number of people for 3 people whom tickets were purchased: Average number of tickets 4 tickets purchased per person: per person Note. * Can attend more than one genre. Table 2. Factor analysis (KKNK and Innibos). Factor 2: Factor 3: Factor 1: Monetary Quality Factor Label Media facets facilities Television interviews and 0.85810 discussions of shows Radio interviews and 0.83297 discussions of shows Television advertisements 0.73756 Written reviews of shows in 0.61424 general newspapers and magazines The festival website 0.60165 The festival newspaper 0.58726 The festival guide 0.48751 Word-of-mouth 0.36921 Award winning shows 0.33385 My ability to afford tickets 0.92881 for shows The general ticket prices 0.87137 for shows My willingness to pay the 0.82334 ticket prices for shows The general accessibility of 0.83696 the venue The standard and quality of 0.81090 the venue-facilities hosting the shows (e.g. sufficient ventilation, visibility, sound) The accessibility of ticketing 0.65944 systems or services at the festival The efficiency and user- 0.57665 friendliness of ticketing systems via the internet The value for money that I 0.45113 receive for the shows The desire to support a colleague, friend or family member who performs in a show/s The fact that I am an avid fan and have the urge to see a specific actor, cast, artist or musician in 'real-life' Factor 4: Factor 5: Internal Festival Factor Label motives experience Television interviews and discussions of shows Radio interviews and discussions of shows Television advertisements Written reviews of shows in general newspapers and magazines The festival website The festival newspaper The festival guide Word-of-mouth Award winning shows My ability to afford tickets for shows The general ticket prices for shows My willingness to pay the ticket prices for shows The general accessibility of the venue The standard and quality of the venue-facilities hosting the shows (e.g. sufficient ventilation, visibility, sound) The accessibility of ticketing systems or services at the festival The efficiency and user- friendliness of ticketing systems via the internet The value for money that I receive for the shows The desire to support a 0.69262 colleague, friend or family member who performs in a show/s The fact that I am an avid fan 0.65827 and have the urge to see a specific actor, cast, artist or musician in 'real-life' Factor 6: Factor 7: Production Festival Factor Label credentials programming Television interviews and discussions of shows Radio interviews and discussions of shows Television advertisements Written reviews of shows in general newspapers and magazines The festival website The festival newspaper The festival guide Word-of-mouth Award winning shows My ability to afford tickets for shows The general ticket prices for shows My willingness to pay the ticket prices for shows The general accessibility of the venue The standard and quality of the venue-facilities hosting the shows (e.g. sufficient ventilation, visibility, sound) The accessibility of ticketing systems or services at the festival The efficiency and user- friendliness of ticketing systems via the internet The value for money that I receive for the shows The desire to support a colleague, friend or family member who performs in a show/s The fact that I am an avid fan and have the urge to see a specific actor, cast, artist or musician in 'real-life' Factor 2: Factor 3: Factor 1: Monetary Quality Factor Label Media facets facilities The desire to take a family member or friend to attend a specific show/s My love for the arts and desire to see as many productions as possible Follow up shows The ability to schedule shows in advance The fact that I have sufficient leisure time at hand to attend shows The atmosphere and spirit that I experience at the festival The festival image and brand Familiarity and reputation of the actor, cast, artist or musician in the shows Familiarity and reputation of the playwright, author or composer of the shows My personal preference for a specific genre The timeslot of shows The overall compilation of the festival programme The fact that it is a 'once-off' or 'special edition' show/production considered to be a must-see Factor 2: Factor 3: Factor 1: Monetary Quality Factor Label Media facets facilities Cronbach's Alpha's 0.864 0.851 0.784 Mean Value 2.88 2.81 3.21 Factor 4: Factor 5: Factor 6: Internal Festival Production Factor Label motives experience credentials The desire to take a family 0.57244 member or friend to attend a specific show/s My love for the arts and 0.42987 desire to see as many productions as possible Follow up shows 0.40511 The ability to schedule 0.78195 shows in advance The fact that I have 0.69154 sufficient leisure time at hand to attend shows The atmosphere and spirit 0.63258 that I experience at the festival The festival image and brand 0.37931 Familiarity and reputation 0.84711 of the actor, cast, artist or musician in the shows Familiarity and reputation 0.84003 of the playwright, author or composer of the shows My personal preference for a specific genre The timeslot of shows The overall compilation of the festival programme The fact that it is a 'once-off' or 'special edition' show/production considered to be a must-see Factor 4: Factor 5: Factor 6: Internal Festival Production Factor Label motives experience credentials Cronbach's Alpha's 0.684 0.725 0.862 Mean Value 3.09 3.57 3.91 Factor 7: Festival Factor Label programming The desire to take a family member or friend to attend a specific show/s My love for the arts and desire to see as many productions as possible Follow up shows The ability to schedule shows in advance The fact that I have sufficient leisure time at hand to attend shows The atmosphere and spirit that I experience at the festival The festival image and brand Familiarity and reputation of the actor, cast, artist or musician in the shows Familiarity and reputation of the playwright, author or composer of the shows My personal preference for 0.70954 a specific genre The timeslot of shows 0.70329 The overall compilation of 0.57214 the festival programme The fact that it is a 0.33794 'once-off' or 'special edition' show/production considered to be a must-see Factor 7: Festival Factor Label programming Cronbach's Alpha's 0.674 Mean Value 3.41 Table 3. Results of descriptive statistics and effect sizes between 'number of days' categories for both festivals. Category 1 Category 2 (1-2 days) (3-4 days) Variable Mean Std. Mean Std. Dev. Dev. Media 2.75 0.95 2.92 0.87 Quality facilities 3.14 0.93 3.24 0.91 Monetary facets 2.82 1.05 2.82 1.02 Internal motives 2.90 0.92 3.09 0.09 Production credentials 3.79 1.02 3.90 1.01 Festival experience 3.41 0.83 3.54 0.83 Festival programming 3.39 0.83 3.39 0.84 Category 3 (5+ days) Variable Mean Std. Dev. Media 2.90 0.98 Quality facilities 3.24 1.07 Monetary facets 2.76 1.12 Internal motives 3.22 1.02 Production credentials 4.01 1.01 Festival experience 3.69 0.90 Festival programming 3.44 0.90 Variable Effect-sizes Category Category Category 1 & 2 1 & 3 1 & 3 Media 0.18 0.15 0.02 Quality facilities 0.11 0.09 0.00 Monetary facets 0.00 0.05 0.05 Internal motives 0.21 0.31 0.13 Production credentials 0.12 0.22 0.10 Festival experience 0.16 0.31 0.17 Festival programming 0.01 0.06 0.18 Table 4. Results of descriptive statistics and effect-sizes between age categories for both festivals. Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 (< 25 yrs) (26-35 yrs) (36-45 yrs) Std. Std. Std. Variable Mean Dev. Mean Dev. Mean Dev. Media 3.06 0.90 2.80 0.80 2.84 0.92 Quality facilities 3.36 0.88 3.21 0.86 3.17 1.04 Monetary facets 3.06 1.01 2.97 0.86 2.80 1.05 Internal motives 3.21 0.87 3.01 0.87 3.12 0.95 Production credentials 3.64 1.13 3.88 0.92 3.86 0.95 Festival experience 3.49 0.92 3.47 0.73 3.63 0.81 Festival programming 3.40 0.75 3.41 0.79 3.40 0.81 Category 4 Category 5 (46-60 yrs) (61+ yrs) Std. Std. Variable Mean Dev. Mean Dev. Media 2.84 0.96 2.87 0.93 Quality facilities 3.15 0.99 3.25 0.98 Monetary facets 2.75 1.08 2.58 1.12 Internal motives 3.03 1.00 3.11 0.96 Production credentials 3.98 1.02 4.03 1.04 Festival experience 3.59 0.86 3.56 0.93 Festival programming 3.34 0.89 3.53 0.95 Effect-sizes Category Category Category Variable 1&2 1&3 1&4 Media 0.28 0.23 0.23 Quality facilities 0.17 0.18 0.21 Monetary facets 0.08 0.24 0.28 Internal motives 0.22 0.09 0.17 Production credentials 0.21 0.19 0.30 Festival experience 0.01 0.16 0.11 Festival programming 0.02 0.00 0.06 Effect-sizes Category Category Variable 1&5 2&3 Media 0.20 0.04 Quality facilities 0.11 0.04 Monetary facets 0.42 0.16 Internal motives 0.10 0.11 Production credentials 0.35 0.02 Festival experience 0.07 0.19 Festival programming 0.14 0.01 Effect-sizes Category Category Category Variable 2&4 2&5 3&4 Media 0.04 0.08 0.00 Quality facilities 0.06 0.04 0.02 Monetary facets 0.21 0.35 0.05 Internal motives 0.02 0.10 0.08 Production credentials 0.10 0.15 0.12 Festival experience 0.13 0.09 0.05 Festival programming 0.08 0.12 0.07 Effect-sizes Category Category Variable 3&5 4&5 Media 0.03 0.04 Quality facilities 0.07 0.10 Monetary facets 0.19 0.15 Internal motives 0.00 0.08 Production credentials 0.17 0.05 Festival experience 0.08 0.03 Festival programming 0.13 0.20
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|Author:||Botha, Karin; Viviers, Pierre-Andre; Slabbert, Elmarie|
|Publication:||South African Theatre Journal|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2012|
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