The makers survey was conducted in autumn 2019 and the findings were presented  to the community during the Open BAU Meeting – Agency Matters on 3 December 2019 at Veemvloer.

54 makers responded to the survey and provided data, comments and suggestions. The number of results can by no means be called fully representative of the entire independent performance scene in Amsterdam, but the makers present at the Open BAU Meeting and the presentation of the results, nonetheless expressed that most of the results sounded reasonable and familiar.

Two questions stand out for causing some debate and humorous speculation.

  • How many Amsterdam Independent Dance and Performance Makers do you think are currently working and creating, and presenting in A’dam? 
  • How many works from the Amsterdam Independent Dance and Performance Makers do you think are currently market ready to be performed? 

The speculative answers showed a wide range of suggestions, which indicated that there is still too little knowledge within the community about its own composition and productivity as a field. This means that there are still no data and hard facts available that could be offered to policy makers and funding bodies.

This is one of the key reasons that we decided to put a focus on visibility and accessibility in our conceptualisation of a new agency model.

The outcome of the entire survey can be downloaded here. Raw data (.csv) can be made accessible on request.

Summary of results

The makers survey covered three key areas:

  • Statistical information about the makers
  • Current working, making and selling conditions of makers
  • Their aims for the future and for the scene

Survey outcomes (key points):

  • It is still unclear how many independent performance makers actually exist in Amsterdam. Consequently, we do not know if the survey outcomes are truly representative. What the data depict is information on those currently engaged (e.g. via BAU). During the Open BAU meeting and the presentation of the results, makers however recognized most of the results as being reasonable and sounding familiar.
  • The productivity in the field – measured by the amount of work produced- is remarkable.
  • ⅔ of the respondents come from outside NL, but ⅔ studied in Amsterdam. That the community is international was a known fact, that the connection to Amsterdam and to the educational field is so strong was a surprise.
  • 50% of the respondents are experienced makers (more than 10 years of work experience).
  • 90% operate as zzp’ers.
  • 90% of the work is currently self-produced.
  • The length of performances (measured between 10min – evening length) is rather equally distributed, with a weak peak at a performance length of 20-40 min.
  • 90% of the respondents can identify with the term “performance” to describe their work, followed by “cross- disciplinary”.
  • Festivals are the venues that most respondents feel to suit their work best (78%), followed by “vlakke vloer” theaters (58%). In general, the list of venues was quite elaborated, indicating that a new agency should spread into a diversity of venues, rather than focusing on selling work for the vlakke vloer circuit only

Thanks to Jussi Nousiainen who advised on the data analysis for the makers survey.

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