Events - Press Releases

Bristol Light Festival reports revenue spike for city centre businesses and confirms plans for 2023

Bristol Light Festival 2023 will run from 3 – 12 February, across 10 days and two weekends, making it the longest running edition to date.


This year Bristol Light Festival made its highly anticipated return with a six-day event that brought stunning light installations to Bristol’s city centre. The findings of an independent financial and visitor analysis report confirmed, Bristol Light Festival attracted 170,000 visitors to the city and brought an additional spend of £3.4m into city centre businesses as a direct result of the event, supporting the post-pandemic business recovery.

Demonstrating the importance and requirement to create free leisure time activities and events in the city centre that give another reason for people to visit, Bristol Light Festival encouraged visitors to eat, shop and drink in city centre businesses at an otherwise quieter time of the year. Bristol City Centre BID, organisers of Bristol Light Festival, has confirmed it will return in 2023 with a new programme including internationally acclaimed artists, the ambition is to make this an annual event for the next five years.

Bristol Light Festival 2023 will run from 3 – 12 February, across 10 days and two weekends, making it the longest running edition to date, increasing the event’s duration to give more opportunity for people to visit.

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID

With the current economic landscape and our ongoing efforts to support businesses, our focus is to continue creating reasons to visit the city centre throughout the year. Bristol Light Festival is one event that we have seen to make a significant economic impact and has had really positive public feedback, so we aim to make this a key annual event across the next five years to give the much-needed boost to Bristol’s city centre economy across the winter months. By committing to the event now, we are able to promote tourism and attract people from outside of the city to attend and we can start planning early to bring some of the world’s most renowned artists to the city. We look forward to revealing more information about the 2023 event towards the end of the year

Bristol City Centre BID’s analysis of Bristol Light Festival 2022 highlighted key findings for the event which included:

  • Bristol Light Festival achieved a total visitor figure of 170,000 across the six-day event.
  • 115,000 of the 170,000 chose to visit the city solely because Bristol Light Festival was taking place.
  • Analysis on spend identified that local businesses benefited from a total of £3.4m additional revenue directly as a result of the event taking place.
  • 72% ate / drank out at local bars and restaurants and 13% went shopping.
  • A quarter (25%) of those that visited Bristol specifically for the event were day visitors or overnight visitors to the city.


Read the full report
  • 39% of attendees visited with their family and 37% with their partner. 36% visited with friends. 5% visited alone and 2% with colleagues.
  • 88% said it enabled them to experience something they normally wouldn’t have access to.
  • The festival provided over 200 jobs to local industry professionals, and volunteering and mentoring sessions for young adults from the city.
  • All installations were powered from the grid using existing power sources across the city as well as energy-efficient lighting. Half of those that visited travelled by public transport or walked to the event.


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