Music and food festival 2021

No. of delegates: 8,000

Location: Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens

Event type: Community festival

Event objectives:

We worked with a UK local government authority to deliver a two-day music and food festival in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens.

Our client’s main objectives were to bring the local community together and to boost the local hospitality industry, following a challenging year due to covid.

They wanted to do this through a family-friendly event that additionally celebrated the Pavilion Gardens’ 150th anniversary.

Event overview:

The Eat in the Park music and food festival took place in 23 acres of Buxton’s Pavillion Gardens grounds over two days in August 2021.

Total capacity was 4,000 per day, with a total of 8,000 tickets sold for the weekend. The event centred around a 60 ft stage stage which, over the course of the two days, played host to over 28 entertainment acts.

A second field was dedicated solely to hosting over 25 food & drink vendors, providing cuisine from all over the world and dining areas.

During the planning stages we worked with the client to develop the event’s brand identity. As part of this we also helped to create regular marketing communication and of all designs for promotional use (posters, website banners, social media tiles, email templates etc).


In the lead-up to the event, we ensured that all physical and online tickets were sold predominantly to the local community, by requesting that buyers’ postcodes were within an 8 mile radius of Buxton.

We worked closely with our prefered online ticketing company to ensure maximum flexibility in the way people wanted to purchase their tickets.

This also gave us some great insights into buying trends and analytics. These helped us to alert our client when marketing pushes were needed, and to which demographics, during the 6 months the tickets were on sale. Our client’s main objective was to create an event for local people using local suppliers and vendors, therefore First Event sourced suppliers all within 20 miles of Buxton.

This included all independent and local NCAS accredited food and drink vendors, entertainment, sanitation providers and security. Money was raised for local charities, Homestart and Blythe House Hospice and we also collaborated with the local universities and colleges to provide event and hospitality management students with onsite experience.

As the event targeted families, the food and drink elements were very important to our client.

We managed all food pitch site allocation, including all legal compliance requirements, health and safety checks and also any additional requests or requirements traders had to help them to deliver the best possible experience of their produce to the attendees.

To ensure the event was as sustainable as possible; all wristbands, food containers and cutlery were made from biodegradable materials and all cups were made from 100% recyclable clear plastic with recycle bins situated around the park. We ensured there were ample water bottle refill stations and marketing communications encouraged ticket holders to travel by foot or local transport to the event.

To keep the site safe and secure during both the set up and delivery of the event, 2.8km of heras fencing and 1.3km of barrier fencing were erected alongside 24/7 security with 24 security guards on-site across the weekend.

The layout of the festival was also very important. Although restrictions were lessened in August, the Covid-19 pandemic was still ongoing, therefore we created one-way systems and hand sanitation stations around the site and kept coverage to a minimum.

Due to the large size of the site, 45 toilets were required. However, we provided a total of 60 toilets along with separate sets of private toilets and hand wash stations for the vendors to ensure the highest hygiene standards were maintained.


The event was a huge success. The tickets sold out ahead of the event, all local hotels and BnB’s were fully booked throughout the weekend of the festival and the post event statistics showed that 85% of attendees walked to the event – which exceeded the events sustainability goal for travel and logistics!

Following the event, the client has received positive feedback and rave reviews from both attendees and local press. As a result the festival will be back in August 2022 in the same venue of Pavilion Gardens in Buxton.