Fisherton Festival 2nd year success Press Release 2nd May 2016

This year's Festival attracted thousands of extra visitors to Salisbury on the first May Bank Holiday of the year.

At its peak, 1pm, it is estimated that up to 10,000 extra people were in the city.

Businesses contacted by Salisbury’s BID, reported being much busy than on other Bank Holidays

The festival had a real carnival atmosphere as families met for a day of fun and enjoyment in the city, many dressing up in fancy dress themed as Films or TV.

Crowds were entertained by live acts including Casa de Samba and headline act the “Zucchinis”

The weather held until 2.30pm when as accurately forecast, heavy rain came in from the south-west. Even so, although many people scurried into the dry, thousands reminded outside with umbrellas enjoying the atmosphere of the open festival.

Steve Godwin, Business Manager for Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID), the major sponsor for this year's festival said:

"Numbers were definitely up on last year and we were particularly pleased to see how the organisers had taken note and had made many improvements on last year, the festivals first year, particularly in relation to spacing the event out. Although it is difficult to estimate number until the official footfall figures come through, the city was really busy. At its peak which was at about 1pm lunchtime, Steve estimated that there might have been up to 10,000 visitors at the festival. The two Salisbury BID Rangers were on duty all day and supported the security and stewarding in ensuring that all went well. It was impressive to see the high level of organisation and excellent stewarding that had gone into the event. Whilst live bands played on the main stage, careful consideration had been given to designated footways and clear signage moving the crowds up and down the street. Food and drink vendors were well spaced out and it was far easier to obtain refreshments than last year. Steve was particularly pleased that this year, many of the local traders stayed open and benefitted from the extra footfall in the city. At 2pm, the Cross Keys Centre was buzzing and there were many people in the High Street, the Old George Mall and the Malting's. Steve said that he was surprised at the high number of cars in the Culver Street car park, and the Brown Street car park was full and the Central Car Park much busier than a normal Bank Holiday Monday. Motorists using the Central Car Park were furious to find that car parking charges were as normal but the toilets locked and closed, even though it had been forecast that thousands of extra people would be in the city. Thankfully the Festival had provided some temporary provision and facilities in the City Hall, Playhouse, Wetherspoon’s and other pubs were open for people to use”.

Steve visited a number of businesses in the afternoon, all reporting additional footfall and trade, although he said it was really sad that by 3pm the wet weather had driven many people home, even though it eventually brightened at 4.30pm for the last act. Overall, BID is only interested in supporting events that can add footfall and spend to the economy and benefit businesses – Fisherton Festival, is a great event and one that Salisbury can be truly proud of.