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Spree Festival delivers boost to local economy

This year’s Spree Festival has been hailed a resounding success after delivering a boost of more than £120,000 to the local economy.

Paisley Spree RSNO Takeover 24.10.17

Paisley’s sixth national flagship festival saw more than 10,000 people attend 60 events related to this year’s  event  – with homegrown musical megastar Paolo Nutini topping a list of sold-out shows and entertainment.

His triumphant homecoming concert at Paisley Abbey saw 50,000 people apply for just 550 tickets.

Almost 60 per cent of visitors were from Renfrewshire, while more than 30 per cent were from the rest of Scotland.

A further six per cent came from the rest of the UK and overseas.

The 12-day extravaganza, which supported the town’s bid for the UK City of Culture 2021, generated almost 4,500 attendees, with the events themselves drawing in almost 9,000 admissions.

Ticket sales for shows across the Abbey, Spiegeltent, Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre were 8,337 – an increase of 60% on last year’s figure of 5,200.

Comics Tom Urie and Jamie Godley and musicians Dougie MacLean and James Grant, were among the big names to perform, while the festival also included a unique link up between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Renfrewshire school children.

The Musical Tapestry saw a collaboration between musicians from Scotland and India.

Audiences at the Burger & Keg Live tent and at the Spree for All Festival Club in The Old Swan Inn which ran nightly, are estimated to have topped 1,000.

Around 1,000 more enjoyed the live bands and other street entertainment across the festival.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This year’s Spree Festival was bigger and better than ever and has been a tremendous boost to the town.

“The line up featured  a host of big names, showing it has become an established fixture on Scotland’s events calendar.

“There was also a unique link up between Scotland and Indian with the Musical Tapestry, which celebrated Paisley’s friendship with India through its textile heritage.

“Community groups were able to enjoy the Spree thanks to a tickets initiative while our programme also included a range of free family activities like children’s workshops to give our communities the opportunity to enjoy cultural activity on their doorstep.”