We asked all those attending the final concert of the season to complete a two-page survey and received about 120 usable responses, out of the 180 or so concertgoers in the church. Thanks to all those who took the time to give us their views.
The survey’s main aims were to check whether the profile of our audience from the 2014 survey was still correct; and to ask specifically about transport to Cratfield and about the process of buying tickets.
As expected, most respondents lived within less than an hour’s drive of Cratfield; of all respondents, 96 (84%) were in the IP area or NR34 or 35, which denote places closer than some IP postcodes (Beccles and Bungay have NR postcodes but are not administratively in Norfolk at all). This was also true of 46 out of 52 Members & Patrons. However, the ranking and distribution of people’s home postcodes are both significantly different from last year’s survey, where Aldeburgh (IP15) and Woodbridge (IP12: the town and east to Orford) were then in the top five. Our audience this year appears to come from a wider range of places within our region than was true last year (probably a good thing), so the numbers in each of the top five postcodes (in order IP17, 19, 18, 13 and 22) are smaller than last year.
94% of our sample came to Cratfield by car, 60% as drivers and 34% as passengers. Asked if they’d prefer to come by a self-funding minibus service from a short list of post towns close to Cratfield, only 20% of respondents thought it possible or likely that they’d want to use it; the rest said it was unlikely, or that they would still have to come by car even if we did set up a minibus service.
Of those who completed the survey, 7 (6%) were newcomers to Cratfield this season, whereas 85 (77%) had been coming to Cratfield for six or more years. Respondents who were Members or Patrons had typically been coming for significantly longer than those who were not.
Of those who completed the survey, 21% (35% of Members & Patrons) had attended all concerts in the season, and a further 18% (22% of Members & Patrons) had missed only one concert. Asked why each respondent may have missed any concerts, the most frequently selected reasons – as last year – were ‘Not in the area at the time’ or ‘Already busy that day’. Very few respondents said they were not attracted by the music or by the type of ensemble on offer.
Finding out about concerts
The vast majority of respondents had found out about the season by being on our mailing list and receiving a brochure and booking form; almost all of these had booked in advance and been sent their tickets by post. Those who were newcomers to Concerts at Cratfield had mostly come by recommendation from a friend. Relatively few respondents look at this website regularly – which is disappointing.
Those who bought a ticket at the church did so mostly because they had decided only at the last minute to come to the concert, or because they were happy to sit in the West End seats at the back of the church (unnumbered), which are the cheapest because they have no view – but some think have the best sound.
Free text final comments
A box at the end of the survey gave a space for respondents to add any extra information, clarify their responses to earlier questions and say anything else they wished. Only a few used the box at all, perhaps under time pressure to complete the survey at the end of the concert. Some used the space to appreciate Concerts at Cratfield: ‘You’re marvellous’; ‘Very difficult to be constructively critical, as you seem to have thought of everything’; and ‘A privilege to have such high quality music and performers close by’.
Two people pointed out that some seats are very squashed if the pew is full; and the tea queue (run by the parish, and not by Concerts at Cratfield) resurfaced regularly: ‘Is there a way of avoiding the tea queue?’ asked one respondent, wisely then adding ‘ Possibly not.’ [However, the possibility of paying before the start of each concert for tea and cake in the interval may be introduced in 2016, which should speed up the queue.]