Fayres and Festivals – Effective (and fun) Strategies for Failing High Streets and Town Centres
Post date: Jan 2, 2012 3:51:50 PM
Street Fayres – Marylebone Village
Any and every street can organise a street fayre. A good example is that of the landlords in Marylebone Village subsidise and organise the annual Summer Fayre as a key community event in which circa 30,000 people visit to enjoy a relaxed event around food, music and the wider offerings of the streets retailers. The 2011 Marylebone Summer Fayre took place on Sunday 19th June between 10am – 5pm and supported Teenage Cancer Trust and raised in excess of £35,000.
The festival scene has exploded across cities in the UK over the past decade. Some of the more interesting and eclectic ones include:
- The Big Feastival –Clapham Common, London, focusing on food and music and backed by Jamie Oliver.
- The Brighton Festival – heavyweight arts festival featuring contemporary and classical music. Burmese rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi is 2011 artistic director.
- Chester Rocks, Chester Racecourse, Chester – a two-day festival with a poppy Saturday and a slightly edgier Sunday with acts including Iggy & The Stooges, Echo And The Bunnymen, McFly
- I-Tunes Festival, The Roundhouse, Camden. A month of concerts at one of London's best venues, with free tickets up for grabs via a series of prize draws. Acts include Paul Simon, Adele, Manic Street Preachers.
- Manchester International Festival – a dazzlingly diverse showcase for new and original arts with internationally renowned artists of every genre from hip-hop to opera.
Celebrating 7 decades of British cool: the music, dance, fashion, food, art, design and film from the 1920s to the 1980s. Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway brought their award-winning Vintage, UK’s Best New Festival as voted for in the 2010 Festival Awards, to Southbank Centre in July 2011 as part of the Festival of Britain 60th anniversary celebrations with MasterCard. Over three days and nights, Vintage at Southbank Centre transformed its six levels into a multi-venue playground where, over 13 hours each day (from 12pm to 1am), pass holders learnt the dances of the decades, enjoyed over 70 live performances, boogied to the tunes of 150 DJs, enjoyed exclusive catwalk shows and decade specific make-overs, sampled Vintage food and cocktails and shopped one of world’s most exciting Vintage marketplaces.
Summer Festival – Plymouth
Plymouth had a varied program of one-off events but lacked the marketing co-ordination to punch its weight. The City Centre Company conceived The Plymouth Summer Festival as a new umbrella to package 25 existing activities across the City Centre, including the arts, food, maritime and sporting events, under one brand and in one brochure.
An economic impact assessment of the original 50 stakeholders showed universal positive feedback. Every tourist pound generates 35p for the retail sector, and the project has created a new summer retail peak. For retailers the Company hugely amplified their own events programme, driving an additional 300,000 visitors over 4 months with footfall up as much as 50% on some weekends. Marketing included brochures, a website, bus side, radio and print advertising and the city was dressed with 350 lamppost banners and flags.
A festival office co-ordinated the PR: the media coverage was immense and importantly 62% was outside of the city. No longer do individual events duplicate effort or worse compete for publicity. The initiative has delivered a step change in marketing activity not just for the City Centre Company but also for the city of Plymouth.
Great town and city festivals of the world are listed by Frommers. Usefully organized into categories and via a searchable website - www.whatsonwhen.com.