Why an unofficial survey? First, the official feedback survey in 2016 was noticeably lacking in space to leave feedback about anything but how easy it was to donate and how you plan your visit. That's great, but I personally am more interested in hearing about how the community feels the Festival is going. (The official 2017 survey has added two freeform comment questions; huzzah!)
Second, it feels like there's a perception in the community that the Folklife organization is not responsive to community feedback -- that information goes in, and the community never hears back what the organization's thoughts on the feedback were. It has also been my experience that if there is a fairly visible public conversation going on, representatives of the organization respond publicly. The official survey is not a public forum. This one will be. Comments left here will be posted to a public web page, as well as being compiled and sent to Northwest Folklife festival staff and board members. (Demographic and other information won't be published; just the freeform comments at the end of the survey.)
I've got a blog post about this survey which includes the comments portion of the responses, so you can see what other people have said and comment on that, if you want, at http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/folklife-2017-feedback/ -- If you have questions or comments about this survey, please leave a comment there or let me know at jdlarios at gmail dot com.