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Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 10:46 UK
Norfolk and Norwich Festival sees big rise in audience
NoFit State Circus at Eaton Park for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2010 (detail) (Photo: Adam Shawyer)
NoFit State Circus performed to 3,000 people at Earlham Park in Norwch

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival had its most successful year to date in 2010 seeing its audience rise by 450%.

The 2010 festival attracted almost 300,000 people and sold nearly 34,000 tickets, compared to an audience of 62,000 in 2009 and 28,000 tickets sold.

This meant that the festival generated £9.2m for the local economy - around £2m more than in 2009 - based on paying ticket-buyers only.

Organisers put much of its popularity down to demand for its outdoor events.

"This year has been about moments of great celebration and tremendous beauty," said festival director Jonathan Holloway.

"It has been about bringing some of the world's leading performers to our region and unleashing the creativity of the people who live in and visit the region," he added.

The festival, which ran from 7 to 22 May 2010, saw an overall increase in demand for its music, dance, theatre, circus and children's events, with tickets sold up by 21% and the value of tickets sold up by 32%.

The 2010 festival saw more than 350 events throughout the 16 days.

278,000 estimated total audience
100,000 people spotted the Neon Signs
70,000 spectators of the RedBall
49,996 text messages sent as part of A Short Message Spectacle
20,000 attendees to the garden party
34,000 tickets sold
8,000 spectators at Chapelfield's lunchtime gigs in the run up to the festival
5,000 attendees to the festival fireworks
5,000 watched NoFit State Circus
1,000 performers taking part
350 events
130 working volunteers
96 haircuts by children
23 world premieres

Top events included the Festival Garden Party which around 22,000 people attended during its two-day run in Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens.

In addition, the 15ft inflatable RedBall, placed at a different landmark in the city centre each day, was spotted by around 70,000 people.

"To gauge audience numbers we used clickers at large outdoor events, city centre footfall estimates and estimates from emergency services to be as accurate as possible," said Daisy Turville-Petre, communications officer at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

"Of course, the level of engagement with the entertainment is something that is much more personal. Some people will notice something unusual or intriguing as they walk past, others will spend hours and hours watching or taking part," she added.

"For me the stars of the festival have been the huge team of people who have worked tirelessly to make it happen and the audiences who have appreciated their work so vociferously," said Jonathan Holloway.

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