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DHP Family’s Splendour to return in five-year deal

Nottingham City Council is set to rubber-stamp an agreement paving the way for the two-day summer festival's 2025 comeback

By James Hanley on 05 Jun 2024


DHP Family’s Splendour Festival is set to return in 2025 after a new five-year contract was agreed with Nottingham City Council.

The 25,000-cap UK event’s 2024 edition was axed due to delays over tendering, but the authority is expected to rubber-stamp a deal covering 2025-29 at next week’s commissioning and procurement executive committee.

The two-day festival in Wollaton Park was last held in 2023, when it was headlined by Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

“This is a popular attraction as part of Nottingham’s annual events and entertainment programme and has created positive recognition, economic and social benefit for the city,” says the authority. “This would be lost or put at risk if these were discontinued. The cancellation of the event in 2024 has already seen a detrimental reputational impact on the city alongside a loss of income to the council.”

The council document lists the total value of the decision as £11.8 million (€13.9m), based on estimated turnover over the five years. The authority staged the annual festival jointly with Nottingham-headquartered promoter and venue operator DHP since 2007, but a formal competitive tendering process was initiated following the expiration of the most recent agreement two years ago.

“We understand the council, as owners of the Wollaton site, wanting to check that they are getting value for money for city residents from our deal”

“Revised terms between the council and DHP were agreed within a heads of terms agreement that covered the period from 2018-22,” it notes. “This approach reflected the wider changes in the council’s risk appetite and approach to staging events to reduce financial risks and begin the move towards a cost neutral, commercial income events model. This approach also sought to align our commercial terms for Splendour with other events of a similar nature staged within the city.

“Some of the changes at this time were also reflected in the wider UK festival industry. Instead of very large annual mega-festivals such as V Festival or T in the Park, most cities were now hosting some form of local/regional music festival; hence there was little or no rationale for the council to continue to financially support a festival, that was being entirely delivered by the commercial sector in other cities.

“Subsequently this event was identified as a concession and under the council’s procurement policy and best value duty required a formal tendering process to be undertaken which commenced in 2023.”

According to the Nottingham Post, DHP has declined to comment at this stage, but said in a previous statement: “We understand the council, as owners of the Wollaton site, wanting to check that they are getting value for money for city residents from our deal.

“We are confident that’s what we offer already, and that’s what we can offer in the future. We have ambitious plans to make Splendour an even more popular and successful event.”


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