Project: Cheltenham Festivals

The Qualia project will create a real-time monitoring system, which will offer a way to evaluate and measure the immediate impact on audiences of live arts and cultural events. It will incorporate new ways to gather, analyse and visualise qualitative data. This will include sentiment analysis, social network feeds and SMS interactions, as well as on-site interactive installations. It is hoped that the techniques developed by Qualia can be used by other arts organisations to broaden the conversation around cultural impact.

Technology Partner
Research Partner
University of Warwick
Festivals Social media
Grant Awarded
Download Project Report
Download the final project report from Cheltenham Festivals, i-DAT and the University of Warwick.
Adobe PDF(11 MB)

Research Report Insights

Project Name

Cheltenham Festivals

Product Launch

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Qualia event feedback app available now for testing

Rohan Gunatillake

The Cheltenham Festivals-hosted R&D project have launched the public test version of the mobile app element of their Qualia project this week. Available for iOS and Android devices it contains…



Kate Danielson talks about the R&D Process

Freelance project manager Kate Danielson gives a brief insight into her experience of the R&D process while working on the Qualia project created by i-Dat and tested at Cheltenham Festivals From Autumn 2013….

Decision Points

Report from the Qualia launch event

Writer Amy Mason visited the Qualia launch workshop which was held as part of Cheltenham Literature Festival. Read her take on this fascinating evaluation project here.

Research findings

Measurement bias in smile recognition

I had an interesting discussion followed the installation of the Smile recognition technology element of the Qualia project at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival with our research partner Eric Jensen concerning…

Tools & methods

Using phones for real-time data collection

The development of the Qualia App required a re-engineering of the traditional audience evaluation questionnaires used by our research partner to measure audience response. This was due to a combination…

General insights

The need for more open standards for cultural data

An aspiration for the Qualia project is to be able to feed the Qualia Engine with data from existing ticketing, scheduling and evaluation systems. Cheltenham Festivals incorporate a widely used…

Research findings

Agreeing a participatory design approach can be a challenge

The expectations of the Cheltenham Festivals was to have a well-tested app before it was used with members of the public. Therefore the methodology to use public visitors as beta…

Research findings

Contingency time is critical

Allowing substantial contingency time in the development process is essential, in addition to early and frequent informal discussion between the research and technology partners.  We have encountered some challenges, which…

Decision Points

The need to brief our production staff better

Mike and Chris  from our technical partner i-Dat arrived on the afternoon before the first day of the Cheltenham Music Festival to install three data capture probes in three different…