Festivals worth £2million to local economy
A group of 10 festivals has announced a £2million economic impact on the region following an in depth evaluation of the sector by a nationally recognised research company.
Aberdeen Festivals, formed 18 months ago to collectively promote, develop and strengthen the region’s festivals, commissioned a report from Glasgow based research company Culture Republic, so that it could be established how much the festivals are worth to the local economy, jobs and the region’s tourism sector.
The report also found that the festivals hold huge potential in attracting more visitors to the region as well as acting as a hub for developing and training talent within the events, marketing, PR and event management sector and offering opportunities for volunteers to participate in cultural and festivals activity.
The group sits within VisitAberdeenshire, the region’s newly formed destination management organisation, and is also funded by Aberdeen City Council and has secured private sponsorship from Statoil UK.
Steve Harris, chair of Aberdeen Festivals and CEO of VisitAberdeenshire said:
‘We already had a good idea that the festivals were of big value to the region and this report confirms that. Over the next few years the festivals will be looking to develop further, adding even more value to the rich cultural calendar the North-east has to offer. Through promoting the festivals and the wider cultural programme in and around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire we are signing up to a revitalised economic picture for the region where the cultural economy plays a big part. The results show the festivals deliver quality of life for residents, a city and region we can be proud of and attract visitors to, and a place where we can be confident to showcase the colour and vibrancy these types of festivals can bring to the North-East.’
The 10 festivals in the group are; SPECTRA, Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Look Again Festival, May Festival, Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF), TechFest, North East Open Studios (NEOS), True North, DanceLive and Sound.
Aberdeen City Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: ‘Aberdeen City Council is very pleased to see that its investment in the festivals collective has proven to be beneficial, not just for the cultural life of the city, but for the economic impact such a high quality, well marketed activity has on Aberdeen.’
The festivals cover everything from science and visual arts to music, theatre and contemporary dance. The festival calendar is spread throughout the year and runs from February to November
Two of the festivals that have already taken place this year, SPECTRA and Aberdeen Jazz Festival have reported a large increase in audiences, in part attributed to the collaborative working model that the group operates under. This includes initiatives such as sharing resources and collaborative programming and joint marketing campaigns.