Lancaster's Highest Point Festival reveals £4.68M generated for local economy in the city

Lancaster's Highest Point Festival has today released figures showing its economic impact in the Lancashire region is estimated to be £4.68 million, after 35,000 people came together to celebrate the annual music event this September.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 3:25 pm

The new statistics shared by the team behind Lancashire’s biggest open-air music festival, also show that the event brought in a huge amount of tourism to the city, and contributed to the growth in the economy over the summer, which the ONS claimed has been led by the service industry.

The event also created 280 jobs in the run up to and during the festival, creating vital income for local workers.

The results of Highest Point’s evaluation, commissioned from Red Research, has shown the event to be a significant income generator for the region, with a return on investment of £4.26 for the local economy for every £1 invested in the event.

James performing to the crowds at the Highest Point Festival held at Williamson Park in Lancaster. Photo by Robin Zahler.

In 2021 the festival, which created 280 jobs, welcomed 35,000 ticket-holders for four days of fun-filled musical performances from some of the music industry’s biggest names, including indie icons James, Brit & Ivor Novello award winner Rag‘n’Bone Man, musical legend Rick Astley, chart star Becky Hill, Brit and MOBO award-winning singer/songwriter Ella Eyre, British electronic music band Clean Bandit, chart topping Rudimental, plus many more.

The event will be returning to Williamson Park from May 12-14 2022, with early-bird tickets to next year’s event already sold out. Tickets will go back on sale in January, anyone wanting to attend can sign up for a reminder here6 in 10 people who attended Highest Point in Williamson Park were local to Lancaster, a fifth travelled from elsewhere in Lancashire, and a further 21% from outside the county, bringing an influx of cash into the tourism industry in the city.

On average, tourists stayed for more than one night, with most in hotels in the city, and the total additional trip spend generated estimated to be around £210,000.

The survey undertaken by the festival organisers also showed that satisfaction for the event was, on average, very high. Two thirds (67%) rated it as ‘very good’ and another 27% rated it as ‘good’ – 94% overall rating the festival in a positive way. While most attendees at the festival were adults only, almost a fifth of the parties made the most of the event being open to under 16s with 22% of groups including at least one child.

After working tirelessly to bring the much-loved festival back to the historical northern city earlier this year, festival organisers Jamie Scahill, Richard Dyer & Holly Wignall are proud to reveal the impact the event had on the local economy

Festival co-founder Jamie Scahill said: “It was amazing to see so many smiling faces at the festival after such a difficult time for everybody.

"The energy from everybody who attended over the full weekend blew us away. The feedback we received makes our job worthwhile and we are very proud of what we bring to the city of Lancaster each year. A massive thank you for sticking with us and supporting the event. We can’t wait to see you all again in May 2022!”

Rachel McQueen, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said: "Visitors looking for a high-quality event in one of the county's most beautiful historic cities, in a landmark setting with stunning views, need look no further than the Highest Point Festival. We were certainly very proud to work with the organisers to promote it through our Visit Lancashire channels and campaigns.

"Festivals of this calibre and character attract large numbers to the area, as evidenced in this new report. They make a huge contribution to our hospitality businesses, as well as to local retailers and suppliers. They are also often the reason new visitors come to the county and having had one great experience in Lancashire, a good proportion of those visitors are usually keen to come back to explore more."

The festival organisers also worked with local partners, including Booths at this year’s event, and are planning to grow on this next year with more sponsorship opportunities created onsite.

John Gill, Head of Marketing and Trading at Booths said: “Booths were really keen to support Highest Point Festival this year as we aim to get involved with local events where we can. We worked with Highest Point on the family day, which proved a great opportunity to bring families and communities together. The event was a huge success in bringing more people into the local area, and driving trade for the surrounding businesses after a challenging 12 months. It really was great to be a part of.”

Early bird tickets to the event, which will be held from May 12-14 2022 in the stunning 54-acre grounds of Williamson Park, went on sale in September and sold out in record time. More tickets will be released when the full line up is announced.

At 2022’s festival, guests can expect to see a huge variety of artists across multiple stages over the course of the weekend, with a regional street food and craft beer offering on site. The lineup for the festival has not yet been announced, but is expected to be bigger and more diverse than ever, with a mix of chart-topping artists, indie legends, plus the underground house heads, D’n’B superstars and the funk groovers the festival has become so well known for.

For more information on the festival or to get reminded when tickets go back on sale for next year’s event visit the Skiddle website.