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Profiling the jazz festival audience

Steve Oakes (University of Liverpool Management School, Liverpool, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 16 July 2010




The purpose of this paper is to attempt to provide a detailed profile of the jazz festival audience in terms of age, gender, degree qualifications, home ownership levels, newspaper readership, frequency of attending live jazz performances, interest in attending other festivals and CD purchase behaviour. In addition, it seeks to examine the cultural diversity of improvisation.


Survey data were collected from patrons at the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in order to establish the demographic profile of the jazz audience and distinguish between two broad categories of jazz fan (modern and hybrid). Hybrid jazz fans are categorised as those purchasing traditional/mainstream jazz CDs who may also purchase modern jazz CDs, thus distinguishing them from exclusively modern jazz fans who do not purchase traditional/mainstream jazz CDs.


Results identified a statistically significant difference between modern and hybrid jazz fans in terms of gender profile, newspaper readership, CD purchase behaviour, overall concert attendance and interest in attending a variety of other festivals.

Practical implications

Differences in purchase behaviour and festival preferences suggest likely differences between segments in terms of the potential demand for cross‐selling of other live entertainment services and related merchandise. Increased awareness of such differences creates the opportunity for more effectively targeted sponsorship.


The paper focuses upon the audience for an art form that has been relatively neglected by the management literature.



Oakes, S. (2010), "Profiling the jazz festival audience", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 110-119.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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