Saturday 20 July 2019

Festivals generated €2.5m in advertising for area

Well-known chef Rachel Allen poses for selfie with Rachel Hussey from Taghmon at last September’s Kennedy Summer School
Well-known chef Rachel Allen poses for selfie with Rachel Hussey from Taghmon at last September’s Kennedy Summer School

David Looby

Twelve festivals which were supported by New Ross Municipal District council in 2018 generated the equivalent of €2.5m in media advertising.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the body, district manager Sinead Casey said the festivals were supported with €75,000 in funding from New Ross Municipal District and Wexford County Council.

The festivals were the St Patrick's Day Parade, AIMS Choral Festival, Hike to the Hook, Hooked in the Sea, the Battle of Ross Re-enactment, Crinniú na nÓg, the National Pipe Band Championships, New Ross Fit Fest and Emerald Isle Strong Woman competition, Kennedy Summer School, New Ross Piano Festival and the Eugene O'Neill International Festival of Theatre.

The report states that 2,000 people visited the town during the pipe band festival and an estimated 1,000 people attended the fitness and strong woman festivals at Pearse Park.

The direct spend from the Kennedy Summer School, meanwhile, was around €225,000 over three days during which 4,500 people visited events. New Ross Piano Festival saw 1,900 attendees at events over four days, with an estimated spend of €75,000.

The inaugural Eugene O'Neill International Festival of Theatre took place over five days in October and saw 1,000 tickets sold. An estimated €150,000 was spent locally.

Ms Casey said: 'The festival generated significant coverage on local, national and international media featuring in the New York Times and Irish America Magazine. Arena Arts programme on Radio 1 dedicated almost a full broadcast to the festival on the eve of the opening night.

'We are looking at a return of around €500,000 in revenue within the district and in excess of €2.5m in the equivalent of media advertising for New Ross and the district. It's good value all round and it's good for communities to work together and when you look at the calibre of the autumn series, in particular and the people who participated and attended. There is nowhere in the country which achieved that last year in a calendar month.'

Ms Casey thanked the organisers of the 12 festivals, adding that she will be bringing recommendations for funding for this year's festivals to councillors at the body's February meeting.

New Ross Standard