Whatever floats your boat

Fete and fortune

Comments (0)

Aside from offering families, foodies and music fans a handy day out, what do festivals mean to the region? Do they put places on the map? Or help regeneration? Janet Reeder took a snapshot of North West festival life, from the modest to ambitious to find out.

Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

What is it?

'A couple of us had a mad idea 17 years ago and thought why not hold a festival', says Tim Turner, organiser.

Where?

Middlewich

When?

15-17 June

Cost?

£50,000

Who pays?

Revenue from ticket sales covers some costs, the rest is raised from stallholders, pubs who put pay a fee to put bands on, and around 15% from grants and sponsorship from sources such as South East Cheshire Enterprise.

How much is raised from visitors?

£25,000

Who was the festival aimed at?

All welcome. "Everyone says it is the friendliest festival around," says Turner. There is an educational element, whereby schools workshops culminate in a children's concert during the weekend.

Origins?

There is a strong traditional element involving the canal infrastructure and, as it is not-for-profit making, if any surplus is made it is ploughed back into schools work.

How many people went?

Around 30,000

Was this up or down on last year?

Same number expected each year

Acoustic Festival of Britain

What is it?

Annual music festival

Where?

Nantwich

When?

28-29 July 2007

Cost?

£250,000

Who pays?

Ticket sales

How much was raised from visitors?

£250,000

Who was the festival aimed at?

According to spokesman Rob Thompson the 'bald headed and pot bellied' over-35s who like live music

Origins?

This was the second year. Nantwich was chosen because its annual show had a problem raising £20,000 for an entertainment licence. The Acoustic Festival stepped in and took over the licence. The Cheese festival ends on the Wednesday and the marquees are then used for the bands. Festival organisers get no help from the council, so may consider taking it elsewhere next year.

How many people went?

4,000

Was this up or down on last year?

Around the same number of tickets in spite of lousy weather. Four police officers were on site in 2006, but this was cut down to three this year.

Manchester International Festival

What is it?

The world's first international festival of original, new art works.

Where?

Manchester city centre

When?

Inaugural festival was from 28 June to 15 July and there are plans to hold it again every two years.

Cost?

£5m

Who paid?

A mixture of public and private sector. Manchester City Council, Arts Council and Urban Cultural Programme, official sponsors included Bruntwood, North West Development Agency, Manchester Airports Group, United Utilities, Virgin Trains, City Inn, Playstation Season.

How much was raised from visitors?

Initial estimates were that the festival's economic impact on Manchester would be nearly £29m

Who is the festival aimed at?

The international community, anyone interested in the arts

Origins?

There's no traditional element because it is all new work, however its inspiration of originality was taken from Manchester as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and its musical heritage.

How many people went?

Expected to reach its target of 160,000

Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food & Culture

What is it?

Festival of food and culture served up by Michelin starred chefs, local producers and businesses

Where?

41 venues across the region including Burnley, South Ribble, Preston

When?

7-9 September 2007

Cost?

Around £200,000

Who paid?

Regeneration funding £5,000. Over £100,000 from food industry, through sponsorship, services, local support

How much is raised from visitors?

£40,000

Who was the festival aimed at?

Food lovers from those who can pay £50 for dinner with Keith Floyd, or a Tudor banquet, to a free cricket match with celebrity chefs.

Origins?

"It has at its root the regeneration of the countryside and the re-profiling of our area of Lancashire, which we believe is the best in Britain for food and drink," says spokeswoman Jacqui Livesey.

How many people went?

Around 25,000 visitors over three days. "This is a massive year of growth for the festival and the reason is because it is so distinctively different from every other food festival in the UK" says Livesey.

"There are double the number of venues participating this year.

Liverpool Biennial

What is it?

Visual arts festival

Where?

Galleries and venues across the city

When?

Every two years from September to November, the next will be the most ambitious yet to coincide with Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year in 2008.

Cost?

£2.6m

Who pays?

Public funds 85%
Trusts and Foundations 7%
Earned income 7%
Corporate 1%

How much is raised from visitors?

Estimated spend in 2006 was £7.5m

Who is the festival aimed at?

Embraces everything from the international market to people right on the doorstep

Origins?

An art biennial to join the calendar of respected festivals around the world such as the famous one in Venice. Roughly 90% of the Biennial is commissioned work and artists are chosen on the strength of their contribution, rather than commercial viability. They are commissioned especially for Liverpool and are site specific reflecting the personality of the city.

How many people went?

In 2006 there were 359,532 recorded visits. It is expected that in the high-profile Capital of Culture year, 2008, that these figures will increase to 500,000 over the 10 weeks.

Stockport Bowls Festival

What is it?

First inland bowls festival in the UK now in its third year.

Where?

Alexander Park, Edgeley, Stockport

When?

24-26 August

Cost?

£500 to produce programme, £3,500 prize money

Who pays?

Raffles, some sales, sponsorship from DC Satellite, Specsavers

How much is raised from visitors?

Not known

Who is the festival aimed at?

Aimed at promoting bowls, so anyone who is interested in the game. There are coaching programmes throughout the Festival from 11am-1pm from accredited coaches to boost interest.

How many people went?

Around 750

Was this up or down on last year?

Down on the previous year because of poor weather

Morecambe Bay Sandcastle Festival

What is it?

Return to the simple pleasure of sandcastle building

Where?

South of Morecambe bay in front of the iconic Art Deco Midland Hotel

When?

19 August

Cost?

Budget unknown

Who paid?

Lancaster City Council

Who is the festival aimed at?

Those interested in the traditional British beach experience

Origins?

Thousands of tonnes of sand were imported to the beach as part of Morecambe's sea defence scheme and the sandcastle festival was the council's way to promote the simple pleasures of the beach.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Subscribe to our newsletter