Evaluation of LightNight – Liverpool’s annual late-night arts festival

The ICC is delighted to be the official research partner of Open Culture in relation to the evaluation of LightNight, Liverpool’s annual late night arts festival, which returns to the city on Friday 18th May 2018. We have been providing evaluation support for the festival since 2014, led by ICC researcher Stephen Crone, with the support of Kerry Wilson (Head of Research).

Approaches to the evaluation typically include:

  1. Formative [qualitative] evaluation of the planning and cultural programming process, including engagement of event sponsors, delivery partners, artistic commissions, volunteers and subsequent development of the LightNight professional network;
  2. Standardised [quantitative] evaluation(s) of audience engagement and experience including the introduction of social media analysis in 2017;
  3. Assessment of the cost benefit of LightNight as an annual arts festival for Open Culture, collaborating organisations (e.g. arts venues) and the Liverpool City Region’s creative and social economies using contingent valuation techniques.

Planning and programming processes are typically observed and analysed using an ethnographic approach, including regular scheduled interviews with Open Culture team members to review development of the programme. Audience feedback is collected annually during the event via an Audience Survey questionnaire, designed to collect data on audience demographics, participation patterns, motivations to participate, artistic quality and attitudinal responses to LightNight.  A ‘sentiment analysis’ of social media posts relating to LightNight is also undertaken. This includes for example coding Tweets posted during the event (identified using hashtags or keyword searches) according to the sentiment expressed and activity/venue attended. Partner organisations are also surveyed annually following the event.

Click here for more information on LightNight 2018.


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