Common People will officially return to Southampton in 2016.
It has been reported that over 35,000 people turned out for the first ever Common People weekend last month, leading organisers Josie and Rob da Bank, to hail the event a “rip-roaring success.” It is estimated that the festival helped to boost the local economy by £1million.
Rob da Bank recently told the Daily Echo:
“It was a great success from all sides. The sun was shining, the common looked great and Southampton didn’t grind to a halt or end up in disarray! We achieved what we set out to do. There were so many things that could and do go wrong at festivals – the weather for a start, but it was lovely and we sold tickets well in advance; 35,000 people came and the headliners were great as well as the local band stage too.”
“We have lots of experience but you never know; anything can go wrong at any point. The council want us back and all those in the Common Appreciation Society as we left it spotless for them. The local economy felt the benefits too as about £1 million in extra income came into the city over the weekend. We know that 29 percent of the visitors were from outside the area and many would have stayed in local hotels. It will be back the same weekend with the same idea. We are not planning to expand wildly. It will be the same kind of experience with exactly the same format.”
The economy-boosting £1million raised at the event, comes about as the result of the organisers’ decision to book local bands and DJs and use local food and drink suppliers. Organisers also used local shops to sell tickets, attracting new customers through their tie-ins with local entertainment groups such as The Joiners, Junk, Switch, Nuffield Theatre, The Stage Door, Hampshire Cricket, Southampton Football Club and the Southampton Half-Marathon.
Public transport also benefitted, with an increased use over the bank holiday weekend. The city also reaped more hotel and bed and breakfast bookings, as people stayed for the weekend.
“The bank holiday worked very well and the transport worked well with the park and ride, so it will be more of the same. Grace Jones said she had ‘a wild time’. She was amazing. That was her first big show of the year – it didn’t come off the back of a tour. She was nervous about the show and was pleased with the reception she got. The acts all loved it.”
Details regarding next year’s festival will be revealed nearer the time.