An evaluation report on Birmingham Festival 23 has demonstrated a positive impact on the city.
The event, which was created to mark the one-year anniversary of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, saw local and visiting audiences spend a total of £633,007.
According to the report, 80% of attendees agreed the arts event made them feel proud of their local area.
More than 123,000 people came through the festival site on Centenary Square over the course of 10 days – 46,500 of which were engaged audiences who stayed for an average of three hours.
According to the report, the average attendee spent over two days watching the free entertainment and activities, 36% of whom said they had never attended an outdoor festival before and 52% of whom came from areas of high deprivation. It also found that 96% of audiences felt that public spaces like Centenary Square should be used more frequently for cultural events.
The programme, which took place between 28 July – 6 August, included 153 individual projects and performances, created by more than 800 artists, creatives and performers. It saw 185 organisations take part and more than 40 events created from scratch or performed to audiences for the first time.
A partnership with United by 2022 (the official legacy charity of Birmingham 2022) saw 74 volunteers from the original Commonwealth Collective work over 1,300 hours on site.
Birmingham Festival 23 creative director Raidene Carter said, “Now, more than ever, the city needs robust evidence, useful insights and lessons learned to support its future ambitions for staging more large-scale cultural events, and to recognise the individuals and partnerships that need investment to make them happen.”