VIDEO: City celebrates festival’s £1m jackpot

Well over 30,000 revellers descended on the city to enjoy the runaway success of Lancaster Music Festival, which generated an estimated £1m in revenue.

Organisers said the five day event between October 9 and 13 broke all records in attendance, and many pubs and venues reported the best weekend ever for sales.

Lancaster Castle from the ramparts. Photo by Nick Dagger Photography.

Lancaster Castle from the ramparts. Photo by Nick Dagger Photography.

In terms of revenue, Ben Ruth, festival coordinator, said that while the event cost around £24,000 to put on, the city benefited to the tune of around £1m.

Pubs and venues grossed an estimated £300,000 over the long weekend.

The Penny Street Bridge broke its sales records since it opened and at least one pub completely ran out of beer, with ATM machines across the city running on empty.

Lancaster Castle saw almost 5,000 people making their way up Castle Hill to witness history in the making as the courtyard hosted local, national and international acts for the first time in its history.

Market Square on Sunday

Market Square on Sunday

Mr Ruth praised everyone involved in making Lancaster Music Festival “the biggest event the city has ever seen”.

Chris Adcock, cheif finance officer of the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns Lancaster Castle said: “We saw nearly 5,000 people enjoy music events at the castle over the weekend which was truly fantastic.

“Our important and accepted aim since opening the gates to the public in Spring 2013 has always been to establish the castle as a popular events venue for the people of the Lancaster district, and to attract visitors from further afield to Lancaster.

“We want to have the castle recognised and visited by a much wider and more diverse range of people in coming years and this involvement in the ever-improving and growing Lancaster Music Festival is a great example of how the castle can successfully accommodate such a significant event.”

Lumberjack Heartbreak Trucking Company play at Lancaster Castle for Lancaster Music Festival.  Pictured are Leanne Smith, Samantha Cardwell, Paul Allan, Lucy Simpson, Barbara Walmsley and Linsey Holt.

Lumberjack Heartbreak Trucking Company play at Lancaster Castle for Lancaster Music Festival. Pictured are Leanne Smith, Samantha Cardwell, Paul Allan, Lucy Simpson, Barbara Walmsley and Linsey Holt.

But not everyone was impressed with the events at the castle.

Castle Hill resident Sean Kiernan said it was “highly disrespectful of the local community, given the long hours and excessive noise”.

He added: “It is obvious that the organisers for these events take no consideration whatsoever for the people who live here.”

Mr Ruth said that festival organisers were working with residents, councillors and the council’s environmental health department to work out mediation.

He added: “The castle isn’t a prison anymore. It’s going to be used as the cultural focal point that Lancaster has been crying out for.

“We really need it to thrive. It made this year’s event without a shadow of a doubt.”

But he said that above all the city pulled together to create an event that was praised by musicians from all over the globe, putting Lancaster firmly on the map.

“We’ve been able to take our marketing further afield as well which showed with the number of people from out of town,” he said.

“The main comment was that we were a ‘warm and friendly’ city.

“We handed out 100 customer satisfaction surveys and every single one came back with five out of five, bar one. Next year we’re looking to expand the music offering even further, with the possibility of a big international headliner at the castle.”

It is understood that there was no increase in crime in the city resulting from the festival weekend.

See page 116 for an in depth review of Lancaster Music Festival.