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A Report on the 2016 Summer Festival A report examining the impact of the 2016 HammersmithLondon Summer Festival on the town centre

Executive Summary


Introduction 4 Lyric in the Square




Picnic in the Square & Live Opera


2016 Rio Olympic Games


Business feedback


The BID Ambassador




Tourism 15 Summer Festival Press


GetWestLondon 16 HammersmithToday 17 Look West


LBHF 18 19 Memoirs of a


LondonTown 20 20 21

Executive Summary The BID’s three-month-long Summer Festival has once again proved successful as thousands of people came to Hammersmith for an eclectic line-up which helped to enhance the vibrancy of the area. The programme of events was designed to attract people into the town centre and help drive up footfall and spend in Hammersmith, which we’re happy to say it did. Entertained by a mixture of live performances and streamed events, festival-goers gave us extremely positive feedback about the content and the way it impacted the area. Businesses also benefited from the festival, with the vast majority stating it made Hammersmith feel ‘nice’ and ‘busy’, and that it helped to increase both their footfall and trade. Over the course of the festival, we recorded: • 14,000 attendees • A footfall increase of 16% compared to 2015 • Almost 3,000 visitor welcomes through the BID Ambassador • An increase in trade, revenue & footfall for 90% of retailers • An attendee spend of 88% • An audience made up of 35% workers, 26% residents and 39% visitors In this report we set out exactly how the festival had a positive impact on the town centre by analysing feedback from attendees, businesses and the BID’s Ambassador against the programme of events. One key issue to emerge from this data was the apparent rise of summer tourists in Hammersmith. As a result, the BID is undertaking a piece of research to determine to what extent this has changed and how it is impacting the area. Once complete this piece of work will be attached to this report as an appendix.


Introduction Hammersmith town centre was awash with entertainment this summer as the BID hosted its annual, and now award-winning, Summer Festival. Extended for three months to include the Rio Olympic Games, the BID’s free annual festival was an extravaganza enjoyed by more than 14,000 Hammersmith employees, residents and visitors. While many of those who work and live in the area could enjoy their ninth festival, a huge wave of visitors and tourists could soak up their first thanks to the free and accessible line-up.


Lyric in the Square kicked it all off in June, with a range of very different productions featuring puppets, acrobats, ballet dancers and more telling inventive stories. The four-week programme was spread out and included a mix of national touring companies and local performers based at the Lyric Hammersmith. As always Wimbledon was incredibly popular as the BID’s big screen attracted hundreds of people to Lyric Square on a daily basis with almost a thousand attending the men’s final to watch the historic moment Andy Murray won his second title. We invited people to unwind during the fortnight of Picnic in the Square events, as we hosted al fresco lunches and yoga sessions in the sun and the evening performance of Il Travatore, streamed live from the Royal Opera House, made for gripping viewing in what was a well-attended night of culture. And then the Olympics came to town. Due to the four-hour time difference the BID showed a morning highlights package featuring all the overnight action, before switching to the day’s live coverage. This drew a large audience of captivated spectators who embraced the spirit of the games, helping to create a warm and fervent atmosphere in Hammersmith. After the success of 2015, which also included a Best Marketing Award at the West London Business Awards for the BID’s work on the Summer Festival, there was a high level of expectation going into this year’s event. Thanks to a winning line-up and great weather, HammersmithLondon ensured that the 2016 Summer Festival was bigger and better than ever.


The Little Gardener




Theatre in the Square Lyric Square hosted three of the country’s best touring theatre companies this June, each producing rich, vibrant productions which captivated the crowds. The format was tweaked slightly from its original format, showcasing productions in successive order, to showcase the excellent partner companies based at the Lyric Hammersmith. The first two weeks in June brought us the visually inventive How It Ended who performed their heart-warming adaptation of Emily Hughes’ popular children’s book The Little Gardener using puppets. This was followed by the the breath-taking acrobatic skills of Hikapee as they performed HOME, an energetic circus style tale that used an interactive installation to explore the idea of home and homelessness. In the third week, Lyric Partner and community group DanceWest used the square to showcase their talented performers to the wider community. Over two days, June 21 & June 22, they performed three exquisite dance pieces; Mimbre, Beyond Repair and Salah El Brogy, which all received rapturous applause from the crowds. The final performances were held from July 11-13, and featured a number of younger actors, singers and dancers from Musiko Musika’s ECCO London Youth Orchestra, the

Lyric Young Company’s 7-9 Acting Up group, DanceWest, Tri-borough Music Hub and the New English Ballet. These young performers spend a lot of time honing their craft at the Lyric Theatre, so Lyric in the Square provided a perfect opportunity to show off their hard work. We received positive feedback after all the shows, with audiences praising the ‘creative’, ‘original’ and ‘engaging’ aspects of the productions and almost everyone we asked rated the event either ‘very good’ or excellent’. Through our surveys we discovered that the audience was mostly made up of visitors with the other half a relatively equal split between residents and area employees. Have you spent any money in Hammersmith? No pla t ye nn t, b ing ut to I’m 14 % No, I’m not planning to 12%

% 4 s7


Seventy per cent of people saw the event happening or heard about it which shows that Hammersmith has a lot of passing trade and what is particularly positive about this is that almost everyone who watched the performances had spent money in the area. We can reasonably assume that people are staying in the area, thereby boosting both the dwell time and spend and as a result are helping to boost the local economy. Despite deviating from the original formula, the 2016 Lyric in the Square season proved to be a great success, with the addition of local community groups a welcome bonus that was positively received by the audience.


Wimbledon in the Square An essential part of the Summer Festival, Wimbledon on the Big Screen has become a staple of the Hammersmith calendar as people and businesses eagerly anticipate its arrival. And for the second time in four years the BID was able to broadcast Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon win supplying people with a perfect ‘where were you’ moment. Running from Monday, June 27 to Sunday, July 10, the Championships arrived with great expectation and did not disappoint. Despite the weather being wetter than in previous years, the crowds arrived in their droves with more than 5,000 attending across the 13 days, including 1,000 for the final. Throughout the competition, members of the public sat on specially branded Specsavers chairs received prizes from the business including Oyster cardholders, free eye test vouchers and beach balls. A star prize of a free pair of sunglasses was awarded during the men’s final. This interactive competition worked well and is something we are looking to expand on for future events.


More than two-thirds of the people we surveyed knew of HammersmithLondon which is encouraging as it means they are associating the big screen with the BID and recognising us as the organisers. Around 72% saw the event happening, which is quite common with this sort of activity, but 20% were informed thanks to the BID’s own communication tools such as flyers, the website, social media and newsletters. Ideally we would like this to be more, but the figures are in line with previous years and this represents, on average, 1,000 people who were directly impacted by the BID’s communications and can be considered a good return. Almost everyone rated the event either excellent or very good and agreed that it helped to make Hammersmith feel more vibrant. Another encouraging factor is that for 70%, Wimbledon boosted their perception of the area and as a result, 90% of those asked would be more likely to come back to Hammersmith thanks to the BID’s programme. Have you spent any money in Hammersmith?

No pla , and nn ing I’m to 12 % 13% but et, ing to y t No plann I’m

s e Y

% 5 7

As you can see in the pie chart above 87% people had either spent money in the town centre of were planning to which is a very strong statistic as it reinforces the aims of the Summer Festival.

The audience was fairly evenly split between workers, residents and visitors which is something that we are used to during these summer months as the number of visitors increases.

Live / Work / Visit

Visit 30%

Work 33%

Live 30%


Picnic in the Square & Live Opera More than 600 people joined us for the annual live stream from the Royal Opera House on Thursday, July 14 in conjunction with the BP Big Screens season. On a balmy evening, beautiful arias and thrilling choruses from Il Trovatore boomed into Lyric Square creating a lovely atmosphere. To accompany Verdi’s gripping masterpiece the BID organised another competition giveaway, having trialled something similar during Wimbledon fortnight. The stewarding team filmed the audience giveaway and beamed it live onto the big screen for the crowd to see. Those chosen by the BID’s presenter received goodie bags from Specsavers, treats and coffees from Peyton and Byrne and Wagamama vouchers. This interactive competition helped to add to the evening’s entertainment and proved to be a great success, with the audience taking to social media to highlight their enjoyment of the night. The opera took place during the Picnic in the 10

Square which once again allowed people to get away from their desks and unwind in the sunshine. Deckchairs and the BID’s 21ft long picnic tables were put out during the peak of the summer’s heatwave which meant spaces were much sought after. Requested in the feedback sheets a number of years ago, Picnic in the Square has proved a great success as everyone surveyed said it made Hammersmith feel more vibrant with 95% rating it excellent or very good. As you can see from the graph below the overwhelming majority of attendees either came across the event or found out through word of mouth. How did you hear about this event?

Word of Mouth 24% Website 5%

Social Media 10%

Saw it happening 62%

Although we would prefer a bigger increase in the number of people coming to our events via our own channels, it does not matter as long as people are attending and spending money locally, which they did. Everyone we surveyed either had or were intending to spend money in Hammersmith on the day which is great as this event encourages people to pick up something local for lunch and head along to the BID’s picnic area.

Live / Work / Visit

Visit 40%

Work 43%

The majority of people who attended the Picnic in the Square days, which ran 11-13 and 18-20 July, were local workers and these figures represents the highest majority for local employee attendance throughout the festival. That it seems to have been greatly received is very positive for the BID.

Live 17%


2016 Rio Olympic Games The 2016 Rio Olympic Games will live long in the memory as thousands came to Hammersmith to watch Team GB as they ran, fought and cycled towards a record-breaking medal haul, surpassing even the highs of London 2012. With a four-hour time difference, the BID broadcast as much of the action as possible, showing the BBC’s highlights package from 9am – 1.45pm, then switching to the live coverage which ran until the early hours of the next morning. Stewards and deckchairs were in Lyric Square from Saturdays to Wednesdays helping to create an outdoor auditorium so fans could witness Britain’s finest showing at an Olympic Games. During the fortnight, more than 4,000 watched the HammersmithLondon Big Screen which helped to keep the town energised during what is normally a quiet August period. Of those we surveyed, 90% had or were planning to spend money in the area, which is a great indication that the extended festival had a positive impact on the local retailers. As you can see in the graph below, 71% of those asked felt the Olympics changed their perception of the area, which again is an 12

important statistic as it ratifies the decision to extend the festival by a month. Has this event changed your perception of Hammersmith?

Made no difference 29%

Better than I thought 71% Only one person thought the festival was poor when we asked them, but everyone said they thought it made Hammersmith a lot more vibrant. The vast majority of people came across the big screen on their travels with only 9% having sought it out from the BID’s communications tools. There weren’t as many residents watching the games, held August 5 – 21, compared to the rest of the festival, instead there was an even mix of workers and visitors enjoying the coverage. Live / Work / Visit

Visit 38%

Work 38%

Live 24% As a result it’s not surprising that 37% hadn’t heard of HammersmithLondon as we were operating in a busy tourism period when a key part of our audience is away.

Business feedback The Summer Festival helped to make the area feel ‘nice and busy’ according to businesses who once again gave the BID two thumbs up for organising a fun programme of events. In the lead up to the festival businesses were informed about the line-up and key dates such as the opera evening and Wimbledon final were highlighted so they could plan accordingly to benefit from the increased traffic in the area. Surveyed businesses told us that the festival had a really positive impact on the area, making it feel much busier over the three-month duration. 90% of retailers told us that their store saw an increase in trading, revenue and footfall during this time, leading to 64% claiming it was an improvement on their 2015 figures. More than two-thirds said that either they or their staff had experienced the festival with the overwhelming majority choosing Wimbledon as their highlight. 84% rated the Summer Festival as either very good or excellent. Feedback gathered from town centre retailers indicated that the big screen events were the most popular and had the most impact. As the big screen was in place for longer this year, they were able to benefit even more from its presence. They have suggested that the BID should show more screenings in future, which should certainly be explored as a possibility.


The BID Ambassador During the three-month-long Summer Festival HammersmithLondon’s Welcome Ambassador was a useful asset as he provided updates and information to businesses and visitors and recorded data about the town centre. While the festival was running the ambassador was stationed in Lyric Square to help attract people to the performances and provide details about the programme. This is the second year that the BID has had the ambassador at its disposal, something that the businesses and the public have both embraced. During the festival the Ambassador welcomed 2,790 people to the area, of which a staggering 84% were foreign tourists. This is a 16% rise when compared to the same time period in 2015, demonstrating that Hammersmith’s offer is becoming increasingly competitive, drawing more and more people in each year. Its excellent transport links and reasonable hotel rates, especially when compared to central London, make Hammersmith a very attractive proposition. Keeping the area energised during this time could become more crucial for the BID as although August tends to be quieter for businesses and residents, if we continue to see throngs of tourists coming to Hammersmith then perhaps we should consider extending the programme into August more often and adding a few more cosmopolitan aspects to the line-up. Retailers told us that the festival helped make August feel busier so more events aimed at the tourist trade could boost dwell time and increase spend. Throughout the festival the Ambassador continued to make business visits and carried out 333 ensuring that they were kept informed of the programme and any updates regarding it. Having this presence in the town centre throughout the Summer Festival is proving to be incredibly worthwhile for the BID as this data retrieval helps us to map out future events and track the impact of the current ones.


Footfall Our footfall figures for the town centre indicate that there was a strong increase in activity during the Summer Festival period. As you can see from the below table, 10 out of 12 weeks were up compared to the 2015 figures. During the peak, there was a 16% increase with almost 9,000 extra people in Hammersmith for our second Picnic in the Square week, during which the country was enjoying a heatwave. Coincidentally the two weeks that are down, 12th and 19th June, was during a period of wet weather.

Week commencing


Compared to 2015





































Tourism The data that we have gathered indicates that there has been a rise in the number of summer tourists in Hammersmith. To fully understand the impact this is having on the area we are undertaking a piece of research which will explore how this is affecting the town centre. Once complete this piece of work will be attached to this report as an appendix.


Summer Festival Press A look at some of the coverage the festival received:



HammersmithToday common/hfsummerfest020.htm


Look West



Memoirs of a





HammersmithLondon BID. Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, London W6 0QL Telephone: 020 3362 4626

Hl summerfestival report 2016 ver1  

Read the 2016 Report of the HammersmithLondon BID Summer Festival