Since 2003, Next Wave has had in place a process of extensive evaluation and data collection that works at both at an artistic and operational level; we have a good understanding of our audience and key stakeholders. By definition a youth audience is ever-changing and the need to maintain an evaluation process that is current and relevant has been identified as a continuing future priority for Next Wave.

Next Wave increased its audience in 2009 and 2010. This was helped in part by our regional touring program (Come on the Scene), our major non-Festival project (Next Wave Time Lapse at Federation Square) and because of increased local and interstate visitors to the 2010 Next Wave Festival.

Sports Club 2 - The Arena. Photo by Peter Tillack.
Stats from the 2010 Next Wave Festival:
137,325 people (up from 110,00 in 2008);
40,000+ unique visitors to the website
73% attended more than one Next Wave event;
82% said they are likely to come back next time;
Average audience age was 30;
85% were from Victoria.
Genders are split 60% female, 40% male
75% of our audience is in the 18 to 34 age group
75% are university educated
60% travelled to the 2010 Festival via public transport
A third attend visual art events 2-3 times a month

Praise for the 2010 Next Wave Festival from our survey:

"I love Next Wave - a wonderful collection of strange and wonderful events and exhibitions. Always very well done."

"Friendly supportive and creative atmosphere, that effectively  coalesced the young artistic community in Melbourne and catalyzed  the production of art."

"Enjoy walking around the CBD & surrounds to visit remote galleries & locations to see events & finding new areas of Melbourne previously unexplored."

"The festival club made me very happy. A good place to dance, drink, laugh at and bitch about art. Important."

"AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best festival in Australia, the most exciting, pushing boundaries that everyone else is too scared to touch!"

"I wish i had had the time and money to see more!"

"Great program, unfortunately I missed out on a couple of things as they were sold out. Great for the artists but disappointing for me! I was so excited by the program I even made a small donation despite being a poor artist myself!  Cheers."

"You guys really BRUNGED IT this year. Well done NW yay!"

"I went to private dances and it blew my mind. very unexpected, interesting people to have a drink with and very impressed with the dances. thank you!"

"I had a fantastic time at this year's Festival, lots of interesting and intriguing projects. There was a great feeling around the Festival, people seemed excited to be supporting and attending. Great work!!"

"The 'open' style of festival curation (i.e. no risk too great) yielded some amzing and creative responses, and has me thinking about the role of risk in general."

"I wish I'd paid more attention to what was happening at Next Wave!  I really feel like I've missed out because I couldn't get there!"

"As expected at all festivals, some stuff was fantastic, some not so great, but the 'vibe' was sick as bro."

"I loved the programs I attended and I think Next Wave is a really important platform for emerging artists.  I would have gone to even more shows, if they hadn't all sold out! I think that is testament to the quality of performances and marketing/promotion that the festival enjoyed.  I really enjoyed the festival club too :)"

"It is such an important festival which helps to launch active and talented young artists into their careers. The Festival team provide a great support in assisting young artists to realise their projects and present them within a festival context. This presentation is extremely important in assisting a young artist's development as well as providing an opportunity for audiences to access local emerging culture. I feel the Next Wave Festival's importance in 2010  cannot be underestimated."
Big League Balls. Photo by Warren Knower.