Bristol Light Festival had positive impact on economy and will return in 2023, says organiser

The Bristol Light Festival has proven such a success and provided a clear revenue spike so organisers hope it will return every year for the next five years

<p>The Festival brought many new visitors to the city centre</p>

The Festival brought many new visitors to the city centre

2022 and the post-pandemic restrictions saw Bristol host the return of the Bristol Light Festival and it turns out that the highly-anticipated return of the event had incredibly positive results.

The findings of an independent financial and visitor analysis report confirmed that the six-day event of stunning light installations attracted 170,000 visitors to the city and brought an additional spend of £3.4m into city centre businesses as a direct result of the event.

The point of the Festival was to showcase the importance of establishing events in the city centre that would encourage visitors and locals to spend money across the businesses in Bristol.

Demonstrating the importance and requirement to create free leisure time activities and events in the city centre that give another reason for people to visit, Bristol Light Festival encouraged visitors to eat, shop and drink in city centre businesses at an otherwise quieter time of the year.

Cascade was a popular installation on Finzels Reach

Bristol City Centre BID’s analysis of Bristol Light Festival 2022 highlighted that there was a revenue spike for city centre businesses and that 115,000 of the 170,000 attendees chose to visit the city solely because Bristol Light Festival was taking place.

The analysis also showed that local businesses benefited from a total of £3.4m in additional revenue directly as a result of the event taking place and that 72% of people ate or drank out at local bars and restaurants and 13% went shopping.

88% said it enabled them to experience something they normally wouldn’t have access to, and importantly, the festival provided over 200 jobs to local industry professionals, as well as volunteering and mentoring sessions for young adults from the city.

Clearly, people enjoyed doing something different within Bristol city centre

Now, as a result of the success, Bristol Light Festival 2023 will run from 3-12 February, across 10 days and two weekends, making it the longest-running edition to date, increasing the event’s duration to give more opportunities for people to visit.

In fact, Bristol City Centre BID, organisers of Bristol Light Festival, now hope that the event will be an annual occurrence for the next five years in Bristol city centre.

Exponential was in Broadmead and was also a popular installation on the route

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID said: “With the current economic landscape and our ongoing efforts to support businesses, our focus is to continue creating reasons to visit the city centre throughout the year.

“Bristol Light Festival is one event that we have seen to make a significant economic impact and has had really positive public feedback, so we aim to make this a key annual event across the next five years to give the much-needed boost to Bristol’s city centre economy across the winter months.

“By committing to the event now, we are able to promote tourism and attract people from outside of the city to attend and we can start planning early to bring some of the world’s most renowned artists to the city.

“We look forward to revealing more information about the 2023 event towards the end of the year.”