Festival Appeal

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Edinburgh Fringe

Summer is the time for festivals. We are used to seeing pictures of festival goers smeared with mud as they blithely put up with what all the elements seem to reserve for this time of the year. Last weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival was no exception but how important are they?
About a month ago a study was published about the impact of one of the biggest, the Edinburgh Festival which is actually 12 festivals rather than the one most of us know about. Obviously most of the economic value comes to Edinburgh but it also seeps into surrounding cities, towns and villages as people look further afield for accommodation or go visiting. The report says that – just in 2010 – Edinburgh generated £245 million from the twelve and the rest of Scotland benefitted to the tune of a further £16 million
But, apart from the economic value and the jobs that visitors coming create, the report highlights other benefits. Festivals obviously encourage people to visit who might not otherwise come. What we like or dislike is paramount in whether a festival works. Take Hay-on-Wye for example. How many people would have heard of it without the festival apart from second- handbook lovers? The best example must be Glastonbury. Apart from religious and King Arthur connections, Glastonbury would be little known. Now mention Glastonbury to anyone and it is the festival that first comes to mind.
Creating a festival and catching the visitors imagination is no easy task. But obviously if you get it right the rewards are huge. The Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Rio Carnival, Edinburgh Festival and others are now world brands bring visitors from all over the world. But its impact is greater than many might believe. Scotland generates international appeal for golf. Brochures abound advertising courses and golfing holidays. Yet, according to the report, that generates only £191 million.
If nothing else that really shows the power of a good, well-run festival.
image courtesy of Festivals Edinburgh

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