Exciting plans have been unveiled to expand Lancashire’s Lytham Festival into a 10-day live music extravaganza in 2022 – creating a multi-million pound tourism boost.
Festival organisers Cuffe and Taylor have submitted a licence application to Fylde Borough Council which, if approved, would see Lytham Festival 2022 take place across two weekends, for one year only, between June 29 and July 10.
And both tourism and business leaders have thrown their full support behind the application.
Joint founder of Lytham Festival, Peter Taylor said expanding the event into 10 days will have a huge economic impact on Lytham and the Fylde coast.
He said: “Lytham Festival already attracts around 100,000 people each year as one of the UK’s leading live music events. We’ve had two years without a festival so by extending this to 10 days for one year in 2022, not only will we be able to bring even more global icons to our wonderful town, but we will be bringing tens of thousands more customers to the hotels, bars, restaurants and shops of the Fylde coast. Those customers often then spend days out visiting the fantastic tourism attractions we have on our doorstep so the benefits for everyone are huge.
“Following the devastating effect of Covid-19 on the live events and hospitality industry we have worked very closely with our partners at Fylde Borough Council and will continue to do so to ensure Lytham Festival is of benefit to as many people and businesses as possible.
“This 10-night event is about reopening our industry and transforming Lytham Festival into a huge economic boost for the area. It’s a bold statement that we’re open and back in business.”
Initially a one-day Proms concert back in 2010, the former Lytham Proms grew to a three-day event before rebranding into the four-day Lytham Festival in 2015 and then five days from 2018.
The five-day event draws crowds of around 100,000 people to the Lancashire coastal town each year and an expansion to 10 nights of live music would see that number double.
The hospitality and retail industry across the Fylde coast benefits from the festival with thousands of concert-goers visiting from out of town and therefore staying overnight and supporting local businesses.
Research* following Lytham Festival 2019 found that a quarter of people surveyed stayed in a local hotel at least one night, while 78% visited the shops, bars and restaurants of Lytham with 25% spending more than £100 while visiting and 46% spending more than £200. By increasing the festival to a 10-day event attracting 200,000 people, the potential economic boost could generate around £20million of income for the Fylde coast.
This data is supported by business owners.
Stuart Robertson, who owns and operates St Annes Beach Huts and Apartments, said: “The business we and many, many others enjoy because of Lytham Festival is incredible. Our accommodation is booked up months in advance by people eager to enjoy the festival and that also has a really positive knock-on effect as we see people returning at other times of the year who might not have visited the Fylde coast previously.
“I really hope Lytham Festival is 10 days in 2022 as the benefits will be huge for all.”
Lytham restaurateur Helen Vavaso added: “Lytham Festival is a massive boost to us business owners and we absolutely welcome the news they are planning to expand to 10 days for 2022.
“We have really missed the festival over the past two years and cannot wait for its return so we can all enjoy a bumper summer next year.”
WhileRoss Robinson, proprietor of The Queens pub and Lytham House restaurant, said: “Lytham Festival is a huge asset to all the hospitality businesses in the town. We opened Lytham House last year and we were looking forward to welcoming Festival guests in the summer, as we have in our other establishment The Queens for many years.
“Bringing back the festival in 2022 for 10 nights will be a huge boost that all the businesses need right now and we can’t wait to welcome residents and visitors through our doors and I know everyone else will feel the same.”
Council and tourism chiefs are also backing the proposed extension.
Fylde Borough Council leader Cllr Karen Buckley said: “The growth of Lytham Festival has helped put Lytham on the map ever since Fylde Council gave financial backing to the first Proms event in 2010. The event is a massive asset for the town and borough and that means a great time is had by all who come and enjoy the stars who perform but also, and most importantly, secures jobs and businesses right across Fylde.
“We have greatly missed the Festival these past two years and so the double-billing will be just the boost that is needed and, I hope, a celebration beyond the pandemic that we can all look forward to.”
While Lytham ward councillor and chairman of Fylde’s Leisure & Tourism Committee Cllr Michael Sayward said: “Lytham Festival is a huge event in the music calendar and as a council, we are very fortunate to host it each year.
“It goes without saying that the last two years have been a very arduous and stressful period for all businesses and especially for those in the hospitality industry, so it is fantastic to see Cuffe and Taylor coming back to Lytham with what can only be described as the festival of all festivals.
This ten-day event will be a huge boost to the local economy and will put Lytham back in the limelight and firmly back on the map, where it belongs.”
And Marketing Lancashire Chief Executive Rachel McQueen added: “Lytham Festival has grown to be one of the must-see highlights of the Lancashire summer calendar. Such a high-quality event attracts thousands of visitors to the county and introduces many more to their first experience of Lancashire hospitality and the delights of Lytham – one of our true coastal gems.
“Extending the festival will only increase the opportunities for our hospitality colleagues and partners, who have endured one of the industry’s most challenging periods. To have such a positive event to plan for is very welcome, and we look forward to working towards a celebratory and successful return for this much-loved festival.”
The licence application was formally submitted to Fylde Borough Council on Wednesday July 14.