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FAQs

Question One

What is your feasibility study going to consider?

 

We’ve decided to run a feasibility study to see how possible it would be to launch a new lights festival in Leamington, using the heritage event from the 1950s as it’s springboard. Feasibility studies assess how practical an idea or project is. They consider many factors like the financial, environmental and technical aspects, and involve consultation with various people and businesses about their views. Our study will cover all of these areas, and help us decide whether to proceed with the idea.

Question Two

Who is involved and how is this work funded? 

 

A Lights of Leamington Steering Group was formed in 2021. We are a small team of Leamington residents, who are enthusiastic about exploring the possibility of re-launching the Lights of Leamington Festival. We were successful in securing a ‘research grant’ from Arts Council England to fund this study. We are very open-minded as to the format of the festival, which is why we’ve launched this feasibility study. You can find out more about us here.

We have appointed an outstanding arts events, management and production company called Curated Place. They have a huge amount of experience at scoping and running Light Events and other high-profile arts events. We like their approach, particularly because they share our passion for any new festival to be rooted within our communities in Leamington.

We believe that any new festival like this will only succeed if the whole community works together. We have already approached a number of individuals and organisations who have pledged their support. Please let us know if you’d like to be included by clicking here.

 

Question Three

What exactly is this festival going to be? 

 

Our ambition is to create a family-friendly, widely-inclusive, creative and entertaining lights festival in Leamington. Using the heritage Lights of Leamington Festival, which ran in Jephson Gardens from 1951-1961 as our inspiration, we’d like to re-imagine it for a new, digital generation.

Our hope is to create a spectacle of colour around the park, light installations, soundscapes, music, food and entertainment. This will be shaped by our local communities and delivered in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way.

The feasibility study, which includes a range of discussions and conversations with local communities, businesses, organisations and partners will shape this and determine the specifics of what people want and what’s most achievable.

 

Question Four

Are there any guiding values or principles for the festival? 

 

Our vision and values are:

  • Inclusion and diversity: a festival that welcomes and includes everyone
  • Sustainability and climate: a festival that respects and is responsible to the environment
  • Celebration, culture and identity: a festival that’s joyful, creative and is rooted in Leamington’s past, present and future
  • Collaboration, inspiration and learning: a festival that fosters working together and sharing talent for mutual and collective gain

 

Question Five

How much will this festival cost to put on? Where will the money come from? Will it be free to visit? 

 

This is one of the most critical questions we face and it will influence the scale and design of the festival. The feasibility study will investigate how it could be financed. This may be by securing outside grants, sponsors, an entrance fee or a mixture of these things. If there is an entrance fee, then we will consider how to ensure the event is accessible to all through things like concessions. However, at this stage we don’t know yet and we have a long way to go.

 

Question Seven

You say you’re going to consult the community, but haven’t you already decided what will happen?

 

Nothing has been decided yet and we are at the start of our journey. The steering group are open minded about if, how and when the festival could take place. It will be a significant challenge to develop, fund and deliver so it will need to have many people involved. At this stage, there are no fixed ideas – that is what we hope to refine in coming months.

 

Question Eight

Leamington is full of festivals so do we need another one?

 

Events and festivals contribute to the vibrancy that we enjoy in Leamington. We believe it’s part of what makes Leamington a great place to live. They attract visitors, support the local economy through generating additional spending in the town, create jobs and generate investment.

However we are also conscious of the impacts like on traffic, parking, the environment and people who live and work nearby. We also know the town has a very busy calendar and must ensure events and festivals contribute positively to the local community – including both residents and businesses. We want to ensure this new festival compliments and sits alongside the others.

That is why we are carrying out this feasibility study. This will enable us to decide when and how the festival could be delivered and understand the all potential impacts.

 

Question Nine

There are plenty of other light festivals, how confident are you that people will want to visit?

 

We’re delighted that light festivals are lighting up venues, towns and cities across the UK. We’re confident that our festival will be a welcome and compelling addition. Firstly, it will be totally unique because it will draw its inspiration and will be built on Leamington’s original Lights Festival. That’s not to say it will simply replicate what happened before, but we hope to re-imagine it. Secondly, because we’re building this from scratch it gives us the opportunity to do something completely new and completely Leamington!

 

Question Ten

What evidence do you have that people want this festival?

 

Over the years many people have raised the idea of bringing the Lights of Leamington. Social media appears to spring into life any moment ‘The Lights of Leamington’ are mentioned. Indeed, the Lights of Leamington are the inspiration for the Leamington Lantern Parade, which has been running for over 10 years now. Notwithstanding this, we also know that there may be some opposition to the idea. That is why we are carrying out this feasibility study – we want to know if there is support for bringing it back.

 

 

Question Eleven

How can I get involved and contribute my ideas?

 

At this stage one of the most important aspects of our study is to find out from local residents and businesses what they want from any new festival. You may remember visiting or working at the original festival. You may have recently visited another festival and you saw something great – or not so great! You may have ideas about installations or entertainment. You can tell us what you think and stay in touch in a number of ways:

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends to do the same!

 

 

Question Twelve

I’m an artist, how could I get involved?

 

Creativity is very much at the heart of our ambition for this festival. We hope to be able to work with a number of artists on various aspects of the programme. Needless to say we don’t currently know the details of this as the feasibility work and future funding will determine much of what’s possible. But in the meantime we’re really keen to hear your creative ideas and suggestions of what you think could be possible. Please complete the survey on our website.

 

Question Thirteen

What impact will this have on Jephson Gardens?

 

If the festival is held in Jephson Gardens there will be an impact. The feasibility study will explore this in detail. We will also engage with the custodians of the gardens and the wider community to ensure any impacts are understood and where possible, mitigated.

 

Question Fourteen

Where will people park? Won’t this make traffic in Leamington worse?

 

A sustainable transport plan will be investigated as a part of the feasibility study. This will consider the impact of traffic from outside visitors and parking as well as sustainable travel options.

 

Question Fifteen 

What about accessibility?

 

We’re committed to ensuring our festival is an accessible and enjoyable experience for all visitors. We will work hard to make adjustments and additions to make it as accessible as possible, specifically for those with disabilities, specific requirements or additional needs. We’ll also design in calm and quiet spaces and performance times.