Rochdale Feel Good Festival gave town centre businesses a £340,000 boost, early analysis of feedback from the two-day celebration of music and food shows.
Estimated income for town centre businesses generated by the festival is double that of four years ago and overall attendance figures have also increased by more than 6,000 since 2011.
More than 16,000 visits were made over 4 and 5 September, including 8,859 people who watched bands on the main stage. The Saturday night crowd peaked at 6,567 when headline act The South took to the stage.
The event, now the North West’s biggest free music and food festival, saw more than 45 artists taking part, and is widening its appeal - attracting almost 3,000 people from outside the borough.
Spending in the town centre by festival goers over the two days is estimated to be £340,484.
That spending provided a business boost, with 89 per cent of town centre businesses who responded to a survey by Rochdale Town Centre Management reporting an increase in town centre footfall and 61 per cent saying the festival increased their income.
Council Leader Richard Farnell said the festival had enjoyed another superb year:
“The majority of town centre businesses surveyed have told us they benefitted from the festival, all the market traders said they would return again and the town was very busy, particularly on the Saturday which really drew the crowds. The festival also attracted a great deal of positive media coverage which quite rightly reflects well on the town and it was great to see so many people experiencing what Rochdale has to offer in the sunshine. I would like to thank all the businesses that helped make the event such a success, as well as everyone who came down and supported it. This year’s fantastic line-up showcased music and food at its very best and it was great to see such a wide variety of entertainment, from established names to our amazing local talent.”
Chris Riley, Manager of The Regal Moon said on Saturday the town centre venue had its busiest day in years:
“It’s been getting busier every year but this was our best yet. It was also great to see so many new faces and I think the festival is a great advert for Rochdale.”
An evaluation of the event is under way, with initial visitor research showing that 91 per cent of visitors surveyed would return next year.
Keith Rudman, Manager of Beales department store said:
"What a great event - the store saw increased footfall and sales were over 10 per cent up on the same time last year. The festival brings a fantastic atmosphere to the town centre and we’re already really looking forward to the next one."