Following the 2021 Yukon Rendezvous festival, the society released a public survey on its social media platforms to seek public feedback. People had the opportunity to respond to the survey from April 19 to June 14.
Saskrita Shrestha, Rendezvous executive director, explained that there is a survey done after every festival to gauge goers’ experience.
In January, the festival underwent a rebrand and dropped the word “sourdough” from the title. This decision caused plenty of public discourse on social media.
Given the community’s response to the rebrand in January, Shrestha said the Rendezvous society had expected more respondents.
“We were expecting a little bit more of a response considering how many people did seem to be really passionate about the rebrand earlier in the year,” said Shrestha.
A press release by the society said that “we received a lot of feedback; both positive and negative, regarding the festival rebrand.”
The release continues to say that in recent years “our board of directors has kept no secrets about the fact that our aim is to cater to a more inclusive diverse population and as such, the board of directors felt that a rebrand was the way forward to help attract a larger demographic to our festival.”
The rebrand wasn’t the only issue raised in the survey and Shrestha said “there’s definitely some items we can address from the feedback.”
“It’s stuff including events that we have been doing,” said Shrestha. “Obviously, this next year we’re still kind of treading lightly in terms of event planning because of COVID-19.”
Many people responded wanting to get the festival returned to Main Street but the press release states that a move back to Main is not in the cards.
The survey had 104 respondents. Of those, 95 per cent currently live in the Yukon. Thirty-five per cent have never volunteered and 35 per cent had not volunteered in the past five years.
In the past five years, 44 per cent of respondents attended a couple of times, 40 per cent never missed a festival, 10 per cent have not attended and six per cent have attended once.
The festival will be holding its AGM on Aug. 10 and Shrestha is encouraging the public to attend. Both in-person and virtual attendees can be accommodated.
“If (people) want to be heard that’s the best platform to be heard and make a change,” said Shrestha. “A lot of people that responded hadn’t attended the festival or have never volunteered. That’s quite telling. So come to the AGM.”
Shrestha said the AGM will be a time for people to talk about the rebrand but also to “have a part in who the festival looks and feels.”
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org