The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146628   Message #3397197
Posted By: Jack Campin
29-Aug-12 - 04:28 PM
Thread Name: Whitby 2012
Subject: RE: Whitby 2012
Seems the scheduled events were mostly filled, though there weren't the queues of disappointed people I saw the two previous years. Numbers in fringe events were WAY down, and some accommodation wasn't let. I estimate that the Folk Week only drew half the number of visitors to the town that it did last year, and on average they were quite a bit older. Not good. Folk Week might count that as a success, but the businesses in the town that count on it will have seen it as a flop.

This requires a response. I've said this before and I'll say it agin: if you expect to draw new people in to the festival (and after this year's performance it's clear that Whitby has to) you MUST provide them with adequate advance information. There were people I wanted to recommend the festival to this year, but I couldn't: last year's programme was not available for download so I couldn't point them to it and say "this year's will be much the same". (I had a paper copy of the programme but didn't know where I'd put it until it was too late). People will NOT go a week-long festival that requires booking accommodation months in advance on sheer blind faith. I know I'd have gone to Whitby ten years before I actually did for the first time if I'd had access to a past programme.

The really successful festivals give full descriptions of all their events in advance. The Edinburgh Fringe is the most successful of all, and they've always provided paper copies of the full programme free. It's nuts to pinch pennies by insisting that every piece of programme information must be paid for - the important revenue comes from selling tickets. And the more people know about the festival, the more tickets will be sold.

Some terrific stuff though. (I would go some way to avoid seeing the Doyle Family again, but they were the only real duds). And I've booked accommodation for next year.