October gets off to a triumphant start
The marketing campaign launched in partnership by Experience Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City Council to promote Nottingham as the UK’s Festival City for October has started with a bang. The first week in October saw the 721st Goose Fair take place with record visitor numbers, and the first ever visit of the magnificent cultural and entertainment venue The Spiegel Tent to Nottingham.
A record number of people attended Nottingham’s famous Goose Fair. 410,000 people attended the fair over the five days it was on at the Forest Recreation Ground, the highest number for twenty years and far higher than the 360,000 believed to have attended in 2014.
A run of dry, sunny weather encouraged visitors, and the recently opened extended tram network made it even easier for people to travel to the fair quickly and conveniently, including from neighbouring towns and counties.
Visitors also enjoyed a variety of new and old rides and a safe and friendly atmosphere. The newly introduced Moose Bar – a licensed entertainment area featuring daily live music performances, was well received.
The Spiegel Tent
Having wowed visitors around the world, including in New York and Sydney, the antique art deco Spiegel Tent visited Nottingham from 30 Sept – 4 October to put on a programme of music, theatre, dance and entertainment. The Spiegel Tent will return in October 2016 with another exciting programme of events.
Nottingham City Council’s events team worked to put together an exciting schedule of events in the tent, including fantastic theatre for families put on by Nonsuch Theatre, burlesque and cabaret from the Gilded Merkin, music from The Bodega, comedy from The Glee Club, and a communal rock singalong from I’m Not from London.
Scarlett Daggers of The Gilded Merkin, said: “It was a privilege to bring a modern burlesque/vaudeville show to such a beautiful historic venue. We loved every minute of it.”
Will Robinson of I’m Not From London, said: “I’m Not From London were honoured to be asked to curate the grand opening and closing party of the Spiegel Tent. We’re all about celebration, community and music and the tent seemed to bring out the best of all of these! Some of our bands described the experience as dreamlike, the aerial silk, hoop performers from Notts Circus were mesmerising and our Bamalamasingsong band had the entire crowd singing in harmony, a real treat for anyone involved, we can’t wait to have it back next year!, well done Nottingham City Council!”
With a mixture of free and paid for activities, the majority of shows were completely sold out, and the Spiegel Tent hosted over 7,000 visitors while it was in the city. Residents and visitors to the city took to social media to express their delight that the tent had come to Nottingham for the first time, including feedback on the Nottingham City Council website such as: “A wonderful cultural experience… made me feel very proud to be a resident of this wonderful city.”
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture: “Our ambition for October was to put on fantastic events and attract half a million visitors to our city, boosting the tourism sector. We’re off to an incredible start after the successes of Goose Fair and the Spiegel Tent and looking forward to bringing even more visitors into the city during our Robin Hood Celebration taking place 16-31 October.”
The campaign for October has been supported with national media advertising, and more than 50,000 visits have already been recorded to the www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/October event pages for info on the festivals and events taking place throughout the month.
Jennifer Spencer, Chief Executive of Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “The strong offer, diverse range of events and coordinated marketing for October positioning Nottingham as the UK’s festival city are already paying off, and we’re expecting the increase in visitors to major festivals and events this month will be a fantastic boost to the visitor economy in the city.”
The success of the events has had a positive impact on businesses in the city and surrounds, with city hoteliers reporting a fantastic start to the month.
Richard Johal, General Manager of the St James Hotel and member of the Nottingham Hoteliers Association, said: “The hotels across the city have enjoyed a very busy October so far, with most hotels completely full over the weekend of the Goose Fair, and we’re expecting business will continue to do well in the coming weeks thanks to big hitting events such as the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival and GameCity.”
There are more than 15 major events and festivals happening across Nottingham throughout October. Events still to come include:
- Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival at Nottingham Castle, 6 – 10 October
- Canal Festival, Waterfront, Nottingham, 10 October
- Hockley Hustle, various venues, Nottingham, 11 October
- Mayhem Film Festival, Broadway Cinema, 15 – 18 October
- Nottingham International MicroFilm Festival, various venues, Nottingham, 15 – 20 October
- Family Arts Festival, various venues, Nottingham, 16 – 31 October
- International Robin Hood Day and Robin Hood Week, 16 – 31 October
- GameCity10, National Videogame Arcade and across city, 22 – 31 October
- Robin Hood Pageant, Nottingham Castle, 23 – 25 October
- Rockingham, Rock City, Nottingham, 23 – 25 October
- Nottingham Oktoberfest, Forest Recreation Ground, 28 Oct – 2 Nov
Find out more at: www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/october