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Big Weekend cost Swindon £400,000


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THE Big Weekend cost Swindon about £400,000 with most of the cash going on policing and transport. Now Swindon Council is figuring out how to hold a music festival every year.

It used money put aside for a summer festival in the town centre, marketing money and Government funding to pay for its side of the Radio 1 event.

Coun Phil Young, Swindon Council’s lead member for culture, said the investment has paid off thanks to the national exposure on the town.

He said: “It was difficult, as we didn’t know how much it would cost but we knew that Cardiff spent £500,000 in 2003.

“The location presented us with a challenge, as Lydiard is rural.”

Transport, including AA staff, signage, car parking and stewards, cost £200,000 while the police were paid £160,000.

The remaining £40,000 went on additional security, said Coun Young.

“Hotels received bumper bookings while the economy is in mire,” he said. “It gave the town so much publicity. It gets the town into people’s consciousness.

“The biggest question or comment I have received is: ‘Right, what is happening next year’. There seems to be a real desire from the town to hold a festival on an annual basis. The festival had an impact on the people of West Swindon so we would need to consider the location.

“The Big Weekend was a unique one-off but now we have to sit down and think about what, where and when.”

He thanked council staff and volunteers who acted as litter pickers and stewards.

“When the council went after the Radio 1 Big Weekend we always knew that it would be hugely beneficial to Swindon but I don’t think anyone involved realised just how big it would be.”

He also pointed out the benefits children saw thanks to BBC and council outreach work and the success of the fringe events.

Boy band JLS stunned Nova Hreod School thanks to a surprise visit arranged by BBC Radio 1.

Senior broadcasting staff also visited the town to talk to youngsters about the media.


I think effectively £400,000, although it seems a lot, is quite reasonable for what they have received and also the brilliant organisation has shown Swindon in a new light to those from outside of the town. The running of buses every five minutes for free couldn't have been cheap but as the article mentions it must have given the economy a boost as all hotels and B&Bs were soon fully booked. Hopefully, in general, the people of Swindon approve.

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Guest inxces4308

£400,000 isn't that bad considering all the marketing the town got, all the business that was brought in and all the people that probably managed to keep there jobs within the town because of it.

Also....Imagine how much it cost the BBC, probably dosn't even compare to £400,000.

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They did alright, I don't think the location was particularly good, seeing as it was 2 miles from the main road, plus some from wherever anyone else could get their cars too. We had to trek from the devere hotel each time, which is where the masterclass and the celebs stayed (they were given a coach to the venue tho..)

Other then the ruralness and the stewards not knowing where on earth things were to direct us into or out of town, they did really well and the event was just class!

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There is still no news about another festival next year?! Though they are making an specific music venue, something swindon doesn't have yet!

Though apparently Radio One don't tell the council how much it will actually cost them untill they can't cancel, but it did Swindon great and so we can't complain! :)

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