Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 evaluation



The third annual Cheltenham Paint Festival took place in September 2019 and would not have been possible with the support of all our stakeholders, including our sponsors, artists, people who gave us permission to do things, the media who covered our work and our volunteers.  Thank you all for the role you played.  We thought you would like to hear the outcome of the event.

Around 130 artists from around the world painted murals and street art at authorised sited in the town including around 15 permanent pieces and 40 on the theme 'Hurrah for books' celebrating 70 years of Cheltenham Literature Festival. The competition to find the best piece on the theme was won by Sam Art's amazing photo of JK Rowling.

One artist was delayed in attending the festival and painted our key headline piece in October.  Visitors leaving the railway station by Gloucester Road are now greeted by an amazing optical illusion on the side of The Midland hotel painted by the international artist WD Street Art.

We have now delivered over 50 permanent pieces of public art in a range of styles across the town so that everyone can find a piece of art they enjoy. 

We were mentioned on the Graham Norton show - although mistaken placed in Gloucester rather than Cheltenham!

This year the event expanded to include films and talks, an online art shop, and two exhibitions (one in association with Chapel Arts Gallery and the other a pop up shop).  We ran spray paint workshops for 120 people and were delighted to be able to offer 30 free spaces to low income families and 20 free supported spaces those with physical or mentally difficulties due to targeted funding from sponsors.

We started the transformation of Princess Elizabeth Way into a world class outdoor art gallery called The ARTery which will change perceptions of the area for both local residents and those driving through the area.  The two pieces painted this year (by DANK and Inkie) have already generated a huge amount of positive feedback and enthusiasm to see The ARTery completed.

We attracted around 15,000 visits and we asked our visitors to provide us with some information about themselves so we can assess both the impact of our work and areas we can improve in future years..

Over 85% of our visitors came into Cheltenham solely (75%) or partly due to the paint festival.  36% travelled from outside the county for the festival (34% rest of UK, 2% from overseas).  14% of visitors booked accommodation in Cheltenham as part of their trip.

Just under 50% of people spent between £10 and £50 during their visit. Around 20% spent between £50 and £100 and more than 10% of people spent over £100.  Talking to quite a few of the high spending visitors their average expenditure was around £500 in the town (ie excluding their travel costs).  Using these figures we have calculated the benefit to the local economy of running the paint festival was £430,000 with around another £20,000 spent locally by the paint festival to run the event (e.g. hotels & food for the artists, equipment hire, etc).  This means that we are generating over £10 in the local economy for every £1 that we raise to run the event and in the two and a half years we have been running we will have generated over £1,000,000 additional spend within the local economy.

62% of our visitors are under 40 and/or family groups.  Less than 10% of our audience is over 60.  This shows our importance in helping Cheltenham position itself as a destination for younger people. 

94% of people want to visit Cheltenham Paint Festival again.  As only 85% came for the festival this is a positive sign that we are growing our audience.

The online art shop and two exhibitions showed there is an appetite for people in Cheltenham to buy more art for their homes. 

We used around 45 volunteers and the two Directors of Cheltenham Paint Festival spent over 1,000 hours each fundraising, planning and managing the event.  The festival would not have happened without the groundwork laid by Andy Dice Davies over the last 5 years.  The fact the festival did not exist 3 years ago and is already one of the largest paint festivals in Europe is thanks to the support of each of you and the vision and hard work of the Directors. This is a Cheltenham success story.



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