A combined audience of over 90,000 turned out for SO Festival events across Skegness, Louth, Mablethorpe, Horncastle, Spilsby, Alford and East Lindsey, organisers claim

Wild celebrations on Skegness Beach as Andy Murray clinches the Wimbledon crown. The match was broadcast on a massive outdoor screen as part of this year's SO Festival. Photo supplied.
Wild celebrations on Skegness Beach as Andy Murray clinches the Wimbledon crown. The match was broadcast on a massive outdoor screen as part of this year's SO Festival. Photo supplied.

The organisers of this year’s SO Festival claim audiences totalling 90,000 took advantage of the fantastic weather to enjoy this year’s events.

The ten-day arts programme, which begins and climaxes in Skegness but takes in numerous other towns and villages in between, is believed to have attracted visitors from as far afield as Germany.

From Friday, June 28 to Sunday, July 7 the latest annual SO Festival hosted a huge range of events for all ages and tastes - including regional and national music and dance acts, an outdoor concert, world-class street theatre, international Women’s Cricket, illuminations and projections from some of the UK’s most renowned artists, giant puppets, opera on the beach, and a live broadcast of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final shown on the UK’s largest outdoor screen.

And the combined audiences for the many events came to over 90,000, although organisers have stressed that some of those may have seen more than one show.

Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at East Lindsey District Council, Coun Adam Grist, said: “SO Festival is about creating an opportunity for local people to experience some of the very best cultural experiences in Europe whilst, at the same time, boosting tourism by raising the profile of East Lindsey for the benefit of businesses.

“SO Festival 2013 has once again proved to be a real success and I’d like to thank everyone involved – volunteers, sponsors, artists and our partners.

“Many of the community performances were attending by hundreds of people, with the large scale shows, such as Plasticiens Volants’ BIG BANG, Enchanted Town and the international cricket, being attended by thousands.

“Anecdotal feedback from businesses demonstrates that SO Festival does create business by drawing people into the area; therefore, we need to continue to seize the opportunity the festival presents to this District and ensure it stays fresh and vibrant so people come back year on year.

“The planning now starts for SO Festival 2014.”

SO Festival Director Robin Morley of Magnetic Events added: “Each year, the bar is raised in terms of our audience expectations and the ambition of East Lindsey District Council to deliver a festival that has national profile and brings people to the district.

“This year, the quality and breadth of programming was absolutely amazing and far beyond what other festivals of a similar age can hope to deliver.

“It was an amazing experience for everyone that attended, and we’re looking forward to putting on another fantastic event next year.”

Peter Knott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is thrilled to have been able to fund and support SO Festival for a fifth consecutive year.

“We’ve been a part of the festival since its introduction, and we’re incredibly proud to see it develop into an East Midlands cultural staple.

“This year’s festival brought a host of highly engaging and entertaining art to East Lindsey which attracted people, not just from East Lindsey, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, butfrom across Europe, too, and from what we saw this year, everyone in attendance had a spectacular time.”

SO Festival 2013 was funded by East Lindsey District Council, Arts Council England, Centrica Energy, University of Lincoln, and the Lincolnshire Co-operative.

For videos of this year’s SO Festival, visit www.facebook.com/SOfestival or visit www.sofestival.org.