Agenda item

Overview of Festivals

Verbal update on public response to the recent festivals held in the district.


Stamford Georgian Festival


The Head of Arts at InvestSK gave a presentation outlining the highlights of the Stamford Georgian Festival, which had taken place from the 26th – 29th September 2019. There had been over 100 ticketed events across the four days, with two days of free events offered on the Stamford Meadows.


Community engagement had been prioritised in the lead-up to the event and one of the successes as a result of this had been the parade of balloon lanterns, which were made by schools across the District in collaboration with local artists in preparation for the event. Another notable success of the festival had been the Costume Ball, for which tickets had sold out very quickly. Links to the South Lincolnshire Walking Festival had also been made through the festival, which was stated as a good example of arts and heritage being offered alongside other areas such as encouragement for residents to become more physically active. 


Members were asked for their views on the promotional coverage of the event, the value of economic impact surveys versus the cost and the future of the Stamford Georgian Festival:


·         Members noted that the simplicity of the Georgian theme was very effective; when asked whether they would like to see the historic aspect extended to other eras going forward, the general consensus was that the theme should stay the same, but that there was potential to introduce different themes in other areas of the District.

·         It was felt that media coverage of the festival had been good locally. Members suggested that promotional coverage could include reference to Stamford being included in the ‘best places to live in the UK’ list during future Georgian festivals.

·         In order to create more financially sustainable arrangements moving forward, it was felt that local businesses could be encouraged to put on events themselves during the festival period that the Town Council could be invited to have an input into the organisation of events.  

·         Members suggested that alternative routes be explored with the economic impact assessment.


Bourne CiCLE Festival


Andrew Norman, the Head of Visitor Economy at InvestSK, gave a presentation on the Bourne CiCLE Festival which had been held on 31st August and 1st September 2019. The festival had been organised by InvestSK and South Kesteven District Council, with the aim of providing an event focussed on Bourne that would bring economic benefit to the town, as well as building community engagement and encouraging local schools’ involvement. There had been 150 volunteers supporting the event, including residents from Bourne and further across the District. £27,200 cash sponsorship had been received for the event and £14,200 offered in kind. It was noted that this was a significant achievement for a first time event. The festival had supported by various marketing activities, and social media and website reach had been positive. The economic impact assessment has suggested that the audience had been 10,000 over the weekend, with a £127,000 economic impact. 


Members were asked if they had any comments:


·         It was suggested that as one of the aims of the festival had been to encourage participation from local schools, if the event was held in future, greater effort could be made to involve children in mini events specifically targeted for them.

·         Members noted that there was potential for further activities to be held in the evenings of the festival.

·         It was suggested that social value could be considered alongside economic return in future event briefs.

·         Members felt that overall the event had been very successful, with significant involvement from large areas of the community and positive responses from members of the public. It was acknowledged that although the event had taken a lot of organisation, the benefits to the town and surrounding villages had been impressive. Officers wished to specifically thank Bourne Town Council and Bourne United Charities for their support.

·         A full financial report for the festival was requested. The Chairman suggested that a separate private meeting be held for Officers and all interested Members in order to consider the financial information and the future of the festival.


Recommendations from the Overview of Festivals item:


Ø  The Committee wished to express their thanks for the hard work put into the Festivals by Officers of SKDC and InvestSK, as well as the volunteers, local groups and charities who had helped to make both festivals a success.

Ø  That a private workshop be held to discuss the Bourne CiCLE financial details as soon as practicable. The Committee voted unanimously to hold this workshop and to delegate authority to the workshop to make recommendations to Cabinet as necessary in relation to the future of the Bourne CiCLE Festival.

Ø  To support the theme of the Stamford Georgian Festival remaining Georgian, but to investigate the viability of a District-wide heritage festival and a Charles Worth festival in Bourne, based on the community-based Deepings Literary Festival model

Ø  Investigate more financially viable alternatives to the Economic Impact Assessment for future festivals