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Highest Point Festival brings boost to local economy

Highest Point Festival has invigorated the local economy, with the impact estimated at £4.68m (€5.6m/$6.4m) as it returned to Williamson Park in Lancaster in September.

Almost 35,000 people attended the music event, which welcomed artists such as Ella Eyre (pictured), Rag’n’Bone Man, Rick Astley and Becky Hill. 

The new figures come from Highest Point organisers, with research commissioned from Red Research, and showcased that the event brought in significant levels of tourism, with people spending more money in the area. The statistics also demonstrated the return on investment – with a return of £4.26 for every £1 invested in the event. 

The festival, which welcomed the 35,000 ticket holders across four days, also created 280 jobs.

Organisers also undertook a survey on customer satisfaction with 67% of fans rating the festival as ‘very good’. A further 27% rated the festival as ‘good’. 

Around six in 10 people that attended Highest Point were local to Lancaster, while a fifth of attendees travelled from elsewhere in Lancashire. On average, tourists stayed for more than one night at hotels in the city, and additional expenditure is estimated to be around £210,000. 

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.”

McQueen added: “Festival of this calibre and character attract large numbers to the area, as we 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.” 

Image: Robin Zahler