Pubs and shops in Shrewsbury have reported a boost in trade from this year’s sell-out folk festival, with thousands of music lovers in town.
Last month’s Shrewsbury Folk Festival at the West Mid Showground attracted a crowd of 7,000 people to the town – resulting in a major increase in footfall for shops. And it also provided a boost for pubs – including The Bird in Hand, in Coton Hill, which played host to some of the acts.
Landlord Alan Reynolds said: “It was a big boost for us. For two sessions each day, it was absolutely heaving. It is needed in this day and age.
“It is just incredible. The folk festival for me is a wonderful thing.”
He said the pub was far busier than normal, with staff having to work hard to keep up with the demand for drinks, particularly real ale.
Festival organisers ran free buses between the site and the town centre on the Saturday and Sunday of the event, helping to bring thousands of visitors on to the town’s streets.
Kate Gittins, who runs the town’s market hall, said stallholders were very pleased with how this year’s event had helped them - with traders seeing many of the same customers who turned up at previous festivals coming back to make purchases.
“The folk festival for us is fantastic. They run buses into town and that is a huge benefit. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t be able to access the town quite so easily,” she said.
John Hall, who is a committee member of Shop in the Loop and runs stationery shop Write Here in the High Street, said the extended nature of the folk festival helped to encourage visits into town.
“The folk festival by and large is very good for us. The fact that people stay here for three days means they go into town. That is probably one of the important things about it,” he said.
“The market does extremely well from it.”
Jo Cunningham, a spokesman for the Shrewsbury Folk Festival, said the free bus services run on the Saturday and Sunday of the event was part of the organisers’ efforts to ensure as much as the town as possible benefits from the event.
“We are really pleased we have a positive effect on the town and long may it continue,” she said.