Success as thousands attend Lancaster's Highest Point festival

Organisers of the Highest Point festival held at Williamson Park over the weekend have hailed the event a big success.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 5:01 pm
The crowd and the Ashton Memorial from backstage during Cast's performance at Highest Point

Event director Jamie Scahill said he was “delighted” with how the festival panned out and all the positive feedback he had received from those that attended.

Jamie said that just over 9,000 people descended on the park for the free events during the day – around 4,300 on Saturday, which included the live broadcast of the Royal wedding, and 4,700 on Sunday.

Around 1,700 people attended on the Friday night, 2,300 on Saturday, and 1,800 on Sunday.

Huey Morgan in The Dell at Highest Point

The festival featured performances from bands Ocean Colour Scene, Embrace and Cast and DJs Sasha, Huey Morgan, High Contrast and James Zabiela over three main stages, and closed with Hacienda Classical featuring the Manchester Camerata on the Sunday night.

Jamie said: “You could probably fit 10,000 people into that park, and the beauty of that first year is gauging that and bearing it in mind for year two.

“The first year is the most difficult, but the numbers were there and everybody enjoyed themselves.

“The feedback has been really positive, reviews keep coming in and we keep saying to ourselves “is this real?!”.

The crowd at Hacienda Classical

“You’re in a little bubble at the event making sure everything is running smoothly, and it’s only afterwards you get to step away and take stock of the event. We’re delighted with how it went.”

Coun Brendan Hughes, cabinet member with responsibility for parks at Lancaster City council said: “After nine months of planning and a great deal of teamwork which spanned several council departments, not forgetting giving a massive nod to our beautiful park, we can all feel truly proud that by working in partnership with the Highest Point team, we have helped to make something very special happen for thousands of people and families from both the district and from further afield. Thanks go to everyone involved.”

Lancaster BID Manager Rachael Wilkinson said: “There was so much happening last weekend with Lancaster Pride, Highest Point Festival, The Royal Wedding and the FA Cup Final.

“The night time economy saw the greatest benefits from a weekend full of events, with a 23.3 per cent increase in footfall impressions compared to last year.”

The Dell at Highest Point

Jamie added: “People who hadn’t been here before didn’t realise how beautiful the park is.

“A lot of feedback has been to say that they’ll definitely be returning again to visit the park, and the city, when the event isn’t on.”

Jamie confirmed that Highest Point will return to Williamson Park between May 17 - 19 2019.

See the Lancaster Guardian on Thursday May 24 for more pictures from the event.

Sunset over the Lakeland Fells at Highest Point