The Regency town of Cheltenham has rebranded as The Festival Town, building on its reputation for hosting some of the UK’s largest and best-known festivals and events.
The new brand, which has been developed by the town’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Marketing Cheltenham, forms part of a major new investment in the marketing of the Regency town and an ambition to drive new growth in its visitor economy.
Rooted in the Cheltenham’s spa and Regency heritage and as a place for leisure and pleasure, the new brand builds on the town’s positioning as the place to come and refresh your mind, body and soul – only now its healing waters have been replaced by the town’s refreshing festival vibes.
The town may only have a population of 117,000, yet it stages more than 25 significant festivals every year, several of which are world leading. Marketing Cheltenham believes the new distinctive brand will be a key part in attracting new national and international visitors.
Kelly Ballard, Marketing Manager of Marketing Cheltenham said ‘people saw Cheltenham mainly as “the horse racing place”. Whilst horse racing brings a huge contribution to Cheltenham, it is only 16 days of the year. If we want people to come year-round, then people need to associate the town with something distinctive.’
‘Working with the team from Little Big Agency as well as a consortium of organisations from across the town, we have decided that we want Cheltenham to become known as ‘The Festival Town’.
Cheltenham’s festivals bring thousands of visitors and millions of pounds into the local economy each year. The largest and most well-known festival is the world-famous horse racing event ‘The Festival’, featuring the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March – the 4th largest sporting event in the UK. The town is also famous for the oldest Literature festival in the world whilst the Jazz, Science and Music festival programs are the envy of many a city.
Other festivals that attract significant audiences to Cheltenham are Wychwood Festival, the Poetry Festival, Comedy Festival and The Festival of Performing Arts. In recent years, four new festivals have joined the party – Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham International Film Festival, Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta and Cheltenham Wellbeing Festival.
Ian George, Director of Festivals at Cheltenham Festivals, and one of those involved in the rebranding exercise said they are proud to be part of Cheltenham’s cultural offering, having hosted festivals here since 1945.
“The Festivals are an integral part of Cheltenham’s unique offer as a Cultural Destination, as we bring together the hottest new talent and the very best in the best,” he said. “There are few other towns in England which play host to such an astonishing breadth of artists, authors, musicians, scientists and writers each year.
One of the things that’s special about festivals in Cheltenham is the stunning Regency architecture and backdrop of the Cotswolds hills.
Ian Johnson, of The Little Big Agency, said that the three words “The Festival Town” summed up everything about Cheltenham.
“What you get when you visit Cheltenham is a wonderful mix of the traditional and the modern – an oasis of calm, creativity and culture just waiting to be discovered.”
To learn more about Cheltenham’s new marketing initiative, view the Visit Cheltenham website.
The Regency town of Cheltenham has rebranded as The Festival Town, building on its reputation for hosting some of the UK’s largest and best-known festivals and events. The new brand, which has been developed by the town’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Marketing Cheltenham, forms part of a major new investment in the marketing of the Regency […]