I often keep up to date on what’s happening in Skegness by following the local paper online every week. The Skegness Standard has a poll on various subjects and one of the polls asked this Question: was the SO Festival money well spent by the council.

I immediately voted YES and was shocked when the results for the SO Festival was 19% of people who voted on the poll said YES, but a staggering 81% of voters said NO.

After a while it got me thinking about the Question that was asked on the poll.

I definitely loved the activities I took part in or watched, but was it money well spent by the council?

Looking at this more closely means investigating how much revenue was made by the SO Festival for Skegness, the Council are always telling us it’s good for local businesses with people buying food etc… but how much of that money will directly help Skegness.

After living in Skegness for a number of years I have been shocked at how businesses work in a holiday resort, they never improve there businesses or organise any annual events to help the town bring in visitors. I’ve been surprised that most of the attractions in Skegness are owned by a few individuals having several premises, they never seem to do anything directly for the love of Skegness, some do like Bottons who closes the holiday season with a free fireworks event every year, but most don’t.

A good example is at Christmas where if you visit Skeg you’ll see very little is done by the local businesses, no decorations in the windows, no money put forward to help the town bring in visitors over the slow winter months by investing in seasonal events yet they are all eager to take your money, most businesses in Skegness don’t contribute.

After thinking about if money for the SO Festival was well spent, I guess the only good thing I could think of was the businesses that benefited will be open for another year, which they probably would have been anyway.

Seems to me businesses shops and hotels etc.. just sit around waiting for someone else to come up with ideas and they just reap the rewards without giving anything back to the town. An estimated 16,000 people went to see Plasticien Volents during the SO Festival and I can only imagine how much money it raked in for the food kiosks and restaurants that night.

A lot of money was spent by the council, but other than the car park charges and the revenue from ticket sales for paid shows that was made by Embassy theatre which is owned by the council, I can’t think of any direct benefit to the money that was spent on the SO Festival that will be used to improve either the town directly or be used to make the SO Festival better or bring other events to the town to boost Skegness directly.

Maybe the above reasons that the local newspapers poll had 81% say the SO Festival was not worth the money that was spent, or perhaps these people are just cynical.

I would like to think that the SO Festival was money well spent, we personally had a lot of fun at the SO Festival 2010 and I thought it was wonderful, much improved on 2009 and I thought the people involved other than the lack of information did a really good job.

We only got to do the night time events during the SO Festival, so I don’t know how good the daytime events in the SO Festival was, but I can say that the events I saw and participated in was phenomenal.

Seeing Trans Express was amazing, Plasticine volents was out of this world, I got to meet lots of nice people in the ceilidh (barn dance) at the embassy, dance the night away during the BBC Introducing and chill out listening to local bands on Skegness Tower Gardens, and all for free.

I for one can’t wait for the SO Festival 2011, the organises of the SO Festival have given themselves big boots to fill in trying to beat 2010 fantastic events. :)