What price a Weekend?

One thing has been missing from discussion of Radio 1’s Big Weekend coming to Swindon. That is how much it will cost Swindon Borough Council to support it. There’s been plenty of speculation, but nothing from the council to say how much they estimate it and the associated fringe events will cost.

Given that no other council has turned down the chance of hosting this event in the past, does the cost really matter? Well, yes. Even if you believe, as komadori does, that this is something that the council should support, some evidence for that belief would be comforting, especially considering the cost cutting that the Council felt was necessary for this year’s budget.

The Council claims there should be an economic benefit to Swindon, and quote the estimated benefit to Preston of holding the event in 2007 of about £1.4M. With the cost to some councils that have hosted the event in the past being as high as £0.5M, the economy in a mess and applications for tickets seemingly half what they were last year (tho’ still heavily oversubscribed), that benefit could easily disappear and become a debt.