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Festivals 2019 campaign by Newark and Sherwood District Council praised for pulling in visitors

By Abigail Hunt

A campaign to promote festivals across Newark has been praised for pulling in visitors.

Festivals 2019, a Newark and Sherwood District Council initiative, was discussed at a district council economic development committee.

The events were said to offer a wide range of themes that attracted an increase in footfall, traffic on the council’s website, and public engagement.

Southwell Music Festival. 2018 nave concert (14793010)
Southwell Music Festival. 2018 nave concert (14793010)

The council selected 20 festivals to promote in the visitor campaign, which ensured a good spread of dates, durations and locations for a number of themes and intended audiences.

Among them were Newark Festival, the Newark Book Festival, the Robin Hood Festival, Southwell Music Festival and the European Juggling Convention.

Although primarily a summer campaign, promotion will continue through to the end of October to encompass events such as the Bramley Festival in Southwell.

Plans are already in place for next year’s Newark Book Festival.
Plans are already in place for next year’s Newark Book Festival.

Objectives of the Festivals 2019 campaign are to:

  • Raise public awareness of the wide range of festivals on offer.
  • Drive footfall from festival goers including stay-overs for multiple events.
  • Drive increase in traffic to the council website.
  • Generate public engagement in the campaign to gain more followers on social media.

The council printed 7,000 guides for distribution across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire as part of the campaign.

As well as other marketing, the council has posters to display and paid-for advertising content on social media.

Results from the campaign saw a 51% increase of unique visitors to the council’s website and rise in social media followers.

The most popular webpage views were for the Newark Book Festival, The 616 Music Festival and Robin Hood Festival.

In his report to committee, Matt Lamb, director of growth and regeneration at the council, said he welcomed the significant increase in reach and interest.

“The Festivals 2019 campaign has demonstrated how a more coordinated approach to information and marketing can have a far greater reach and impact,” he said.

“I hope to see this turn into increased visitor numbers and local spend when national data is made available in June 2020.

“We are already working with partners and stakeholders on new campaigns, which will generate similar updates at future meetings.”

As the Advertiser reported last week, Newark Town Council is considering pulling the plug on its financial backing of Newark Festival.

Acts this year included Razorlight, The Feeling, and Lightning Seeds.


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