Being Human 2015 evaluation results: a real “eye opener”

Being Human 2015 evaluation results: a real “eye opener”

Being Human 2015 evaluation results: a real “eye opener”

The full independent Being Human 2015 report, including recommendations, is available to view here.


We’re pleased to present an independent evaluation of last year’s Being Human festival. The report praises the festival for its creativity, accessibility and diversity, which continues to facilitate collaboration between event partners. It has made a significant and visible contribution to the UK’s relationship and understanding of the humanities and has developed a unique place for itself within the cultural landscape.

Written by Jenesys Associates, the evaluation report based its findings on a survey of 2900 festival attendees, 108 ‘vox pop’ respondents and 75 participating organisations. It confirmed that feedback on the UK-wide festival involving 308 public events, had strengthened the public’s understanding of the humanities and their relevance to everyday life.


Being Human 2015 ran from 12 to 22 November. It attracted around 21,000 visitors who took took part in a range of humanities focussed activities. These included tours, film screenings, lectures, theatre and performance events, interactive ‘experiments’ and debates. Activities were organised by 75 institutions across the UK, covering a diverse array of subjects, some of which involved creative collaborations between researchers of different disciplines. One respondent commented that, “This event has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of working with people who I would not consider natural colleagues – a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking and common threads can be found, and opportunities for collaboration.”


Last year, the festival also had 5 designated regional hubs, who were tasked with curating a programme of events that could effectively act as ‘mini-festivals’. The 2015 hubs were University of Aberdeen, Northumbria University, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield and Swansea University. This model not only enabled these universities to produce ambitious programmes of significant scale and impact, but also allowed for communication to different audiences through multiple event formats, as pointed out by one attendee: “The blend of academic and creative material was refreshing and works incredibly well in making events accessible to as many people as possible.”

While the evaluation states that the festival achieved many of its aims and objectives, there is still some learning to be done, particularly concerning key messaging in order to communicate the importance of the humanities and further diversify the festival’s audience.

With Being Human 2016 on the horizon, we’ve taken the report’s recommendations into consideration. Our aim for this year’s festival is to make it even more fun, creative and engaging than last year’s and we can’t wait!

You can read the full evaluation for Being Human 2015 here.