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55. Rotherham Skate and Art Festival

Since the pandemic, many Councils have had to rethink how they use and develop their city centres. Part of the challenge has been finding ways to encourage people to come back into town, and a calendar of vibrant events have formed an important part of that strategy.

Not only do events encourage footfall, but they also have many wider cultural and health benefits for visitors and participants alike.

In January 2022 Rotherham Borough Council commissioned Kada Research to undertake an independent evaluation of a Skate and Art Festival that they were running in Rotherham Town Centre.

This followed a similar, well-received Kada report on the town’s Christmas Lights event in December 2021 and would provide the council with a comprehensive understanding of how effective the event was, and what its impact had been.

The 2022 Rotherham Uplift Skateboarding Festival involved a series of linked yet spread-out events across the town centre over three days, including a stencil and spray-painting workshop, a pop-up skate park, live bands and DJs, and skateboarding workshops with GB Olympic level professionals.

As part of this commission, Kada’s research team attended the event where they spoke to attendees, the event organisers, and those running the different elements of the festival, which formed part of a wider programme of creative and arts events across the town designed to increase levels of cultural engagement.

Kada analysed the survey data confirming visitor numbers, the profile of attendees, the impact of the event marketing and, perhaps most importantly, visitor perceptions and spend. This was compiled into a short evaluation report with supporting infographics, photographs, charts, and a concise management summary with clear recommendations for council officers.

The festival proved to be a popular addition to the town’s annual programme of creative and arts events, with over 800 visitors over the three days. The research also found that 91% of attendees were either very satisfied or satisfied with the event, with 97% asking for a similar event in future.

The final assessment was described by the client as a “great report” that was “really comprehensive” and “very helpful and insightful in informing and developing similar events”.

If you are thinking about commissioning an evaluation of an event of programme or if you would like to talk through an idea or hear about this work you can contact at karl.dalgleish@kadaresearch.co.uk or bridget@kadaresearch.co.uk.