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East Midlands Chamber News

Nottingham's Festival Campaign Gets Off to Triumphant Start

A family at Nottingham's historic 2015 Goose FairA marketing campaign 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.

Having wowed visitors around the world, including in New York and Sydney, the antique art deco Spiegel Tent visited Nottingham from 30 September to 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.”

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.”

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “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.”

Jennifer Spencer, Chief Executive of Experience Nottinghamshire, added: “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.”

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