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Economic boost of £2.6m from Artwave Festival's 25th year

Lewes district’s popular Artwave Festival celebrated its 25th birthday by bringing an estimated £2.6 million boost to the local economy.

Held over three weekends in August, there were nearly 50,000 visits to a record 153 locations across Lewes, Newhaven, Seaford and surrounding villages.

Organised by Lewes District Council, the festival began as a small Lewes town trail in 1993 and has now expanded across the whole of the district.

Every year Artwave opens doors into artists’ private homes, studios, galleries and gardens, museums and churches, pubs and community spaces.

Visitors can meet and buy direct from photographers, bespoke jewellers, landscape, abstract and portrait painters, sculptors of metal, wood and stone, woodcut and linocut printers, bookbinders and designers, ceramicists and all sorts of creators.

For its 25th year, the festival featured some special colour-themed events, including a programme of family workshops, artist led walks and an Art and Film strand.

Of the 153 venues that took part, there was a 56% increase in rural venues and 95% of venues said they would participate again. A total of 78% of visitors surveyed said they were extremely likely to recommend Artwave to friends or family.

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Customers and Partners, Councillor Tony Nicholson, said: “The 25th year of Artwave was a really special event. With all venues free to visit it was truly inclusive but by bringing in so many visitors to the district, it gave our local economy a terrific boost. I’d like to thank everyone involved for creating such a fantastic event for the district.”

Published 17 December 2018