2023 Research

To make sure we are always learning about how to create the best visitor and artist experience for the Festival, we carried out research last year across, and after, the Festival.

Here we provide the main findings across visitors and artists. 

In reponse to the research, we have been doing lots of planning as a Board to respond to some of the issues.


Our Visitors

We asked visitors about their Festival experience. This is what they told us.

Most visitors heard about the Festival via word of mouth (50%), while 24% were local. 13% heard on social media and 4% through other newspapers or magazines.

93% of visitors would recommend visiting the Festival to others. 

79% of were repeat visitors, and 21% were visiting for the first time.

The primary reasons for visiting the Festival were to explore the art (55%) or have a day out (49%). Some (13%) came to purchase art - translating to nearly 3,000 visitors coming with the express purpose of buying new art! Many (11%) came to meet and interact with the arts community.

This is detailed in the chart below.


A graph demonstrating that the main reasons for visiting the Festival are a day out or to explore the art.

The main aspects of the Festival our visitors liked were, in order of preference:

•    The variety of art  
•    Community/village setting in the beautiful East Neuk
•    The atmosphere around the village
•    Meeting the artists in person
•    Seeing the breadth of art

There were clear areas that visitors thought could be improved. These included improving the catering and signage. Many wanted to see more use of card readers over cash. In particular visitors felt that our website and social media activity could be improved. Some visitors, particularly for those who had been several times, was 'samey', and they would welcome more variety and breadth.

64% of visitors purchased art, and nearly half (46%) had engaged with one or several of the artists (for example through social media) before coming to the Festival.

Many did not participate in, or were not aware of (58%) the Festival events, however most would like to see more of an events programme (57%). In terms of preferences, many would welcome artist talks (30%), workshops (22%) and evening events such as music (15%).

Our Visitor Demographics

Most of our vistors came from the East Neuk (22%) or the rest of Fife (19%). Other key groups were from Edinburgh and Glasgow (19% respectively).

Our visitor age range is below. Here, we were able to benchmark it against data gathered in 2014, which suggests our age profile is getting older.


The age profile of the Festival would suggest that visitors are older than they were in 2014

We have plans in place to improve the visitor experience this year and beyond.

Our Artists

We asked our Exhibiting Artists about their Festival Experience. This is what they told us.

58% of the artists we surveyed, were regular exhibitors at the Festival. 21% had exhibited at the Festival before, and for 21% it was their first time.

With regards to the support artists received, 37% felt it was excellent, and 57% stated it was satisfactory, while 16% felt that it was insufficient (see chart below).

Chart that demonstrates that most artists rate the Festival support at excellent or satisfactory

Key reflections on the Festival were that it was well organised, but that there could have been more visibility of the Board, and more support with Social Media promotion. Some concerns were raised about the challenges around securing a venue, venue location (with visitor traffic localised around the harbour) and the general rising costs of exhibiting.

Other topics raised by our artists included Diversity and Inclusion, the support for emerging artists, sustainability and encouraging participation of the local community in the Festival in a more structured way.

Most artists are very likely (78%) or likely (11%) to return, and most (90%) would be likely or very likely to recommend the Festival to others.



We have plans in place to improve our artists' experience to address some of the issues raised.

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