Rock and roll is the most popular live music among Hope residents who took in the Concerts in the Park series this summer.
This is just one of the facts presented to Hope and District Council at its Oct. 15 meeting, from information gathered through a poll of 47 attendees. The free music series held Hope Memorial Park is currently in its 15th year, run by the Hope and District Arts Council (HADC).
Dani Vachon of the HADC spoke to council about the past, present and future of the series.
“We believe that music has the power to uplift and connect,” reads the Concert in the Park purpose. “We strive to bring high quality musical talent of a wide array of genres, local and out-of-town, to the community of Hope at no ticket cost to the attendee.”
Vachon presented data from 2015 to present, charting the rise in frequency of concerts and a growing audience. In that time frame, the attendance has increased 814 per cent, from an average of 35 attendees per show in 2015, to an average of 320 per show this summer.
They have also doubled the amount of shows held, with events now taking place on Friday evenings all summer long. The concerts are made possible in part by sponsors, an annual B.C. Gaming grant, and volunteer time and effort.
In total, organizers counted 2,878 attendees over this year’s nine events. The most popular concert was Son de Todos on Aug. 16, with 461 attendees.
And those who came to the shows really enjoyed them, according to the poll numbers. More than 90 per cent of respondents rated the series at four or five, out of five.
And when it came to styles of music, most of the respondents were happy with the classic rock that was featured more predominately this year.
Four even said they “would enjoy if every band were a classic rock cover band.”
When asked what music they would like to see next year, rock had 29 responses, bluegrass had 24 responses, blues had 23 and folk had 21.
And when asked what their favourite thing was about the show, 15 said the music was. But other responses leaned toward the atmosphere, a sense of community, visiting and meeting people, “people grooving,” and family friendly.
Suggested improvements included more food trucks, more diversity in bands, improved stage lighting, and longer sets. Some would like to the concerts go until 9 p.m.
As for problems, there was one incident of public drunkenness in which an audience member crawled on the stage and laid down. That was the weekend of the chainsaw carving competition, and there was extra security that dealt with the same person that evening.
There was also one incident with a dog who bit two people, who happened to be the dog owner and a friend of the owner.