Festival counts successes with footfall of more than 10,000

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This man branched out for Culture Day. Picture: Marc Hindley

It is estimated that more than 10,000 people attended more than 100 events in the third Findhorn Bay Festival which ended on Monday 1 October.

Reasonably warm weather and mostly dry skies meant that outdoor events were well-attended and comfortable.

Staged in unexpected spaces and scenic locations around the Forres area over six days, the festival played host to 125 events and performances including music, opera, theatre, dance, exhibitions, talks, workshops, walks, immersive installations and vintage bus tours.

Sold out

A Mile in my Shoes
Walk this way – The giant shoebox on Orchard Road was organised in association with the  National Theatre of Scotland. Visitors were able to step into the shoes of others and hear their stories. Picture: Paul Campbell

Around 32 concerts and performances sold out including Duncan Chisholm: The Gathering, the Karine Polwart Trio, Northern Flyway, The Langan Band, Glitter and Sparkle Festival Ball, Catherine Wheels’ Martha, Frozen Charlotte and Stadium Rock’s NESTS, Vintage Bus Tours and several of The Buke of the Howlat shows.

Counting the successes of this year’s festivals, organisers reported that the festival sold over 4,500 tickets with a further 6,000 attendances estimated at exhibitions and free events. Visitors came from near and far, including from Iceland, Germany, USA, South America and Australia.

Visitor geography

Street carnival

Live entertainment
Culture Day Forres provided live entertainment on the streets. Picture: Marc Hindley

Forres turned into a street carnival on Saturday 29 September as Culture Day Forres celebrated with food and craft stalls and arts and cultural activities for all the family to enjoy. It was estimated that over 3,500 people attended across the day.

Kresanna Aigner, festival director, said, “The last six days have been wonderful, it’s been fantastic to welcome so many visitors from near and far. Many people have commented that this year’s festival has had ‘something for everyone’ and it’s been great to see our local community embracing arts and cultural events on their own doorsteps. An event of this kind also opens opportunity, with many new connections being made between artists, audiences, local businesses and visitors – connections which will deepen and strengthen over time.”

Cultural collaboration

Mad Hatters of Moray
The Mad Hatters of Moray were larger than life at Findhorn Bay Festival. Picture: Paul Campbell

She added, “With Findhorn Bay offering stunning views and the area being renowned for authentic local hospitality, Moray is also home to many artists and cultural organisations. A festival of this scale can only happen by working in partnership and in collaboration with local businesses and community groups, our local hospitality sectors, artists, cultural and heritage organisations. A particular thank you has to be extended to all the people who gave up their time to volunteer on this year’s festival.”

The festival organisers have now started the process of collating evaluation and feedback from audiences, attendances across events, volunteers, local business, schools and participants to complete an accurate picture of the social and learning outcomes from the Festival – a final report is expected in December.

Keep your diaries free for the end of September 2020 as plans are already being set in motion for the 4th Findhorn Bay Festival.

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