Shrewsbury’s new free-entry music festival, Loopfest, which was held in venues across the town last weekend, has broken footfall records.
Many venues taking part in Loopfest experienced record sales and all venues had their busiest day since Covid, it has today been reported.
The knock-on effect improved business throughout the town with restaurants, cafes and shops brimming with life and ‘buzzing’ with energy.
Shrewsbury BID reported that not only did Shrewsbury record its highest footfall since January 2020, but it was also the highest ever footfall recorded on any day during August and September since 2016.
Festival organiser, Jamie Smith said: “It wasn’t a case of if we can do it, it had to happen. I only had two months to get the venues on board, book the acts, build the website, promote and plan the event.
“That’s not a very long time for just one person. In addition, we only had a budget of £3,500 to hire all the music equipment, pay for sound engineers as well as pay for all marketing materials and advertising.
“What made the event successful though was the local musicians who came together to support the event. I know most of the performers and sound technicians, many of whom I have worked with for a number of years.
“We all share a common goal, to create a bustling music scene in the local area.”
Sam Ryan, a local musician from Stafford, performed at The Kings Head pub on Mardol, before going to The Hive venue at Belmont for a jam session on Saturday.
While Sam has been playing nationally in concerts across Wales and England for around 13 years, he said he’d never seen anything like it in the town.
The 30-year-old, who has been writing song lyrics since he was 11, said: “It was out of this world. I’ve done performances for a variety of years in different capacities.
“But as someone growing up in-and-around Shropshire, I’ve never seen it (Shrewsbury) with such a buzz. It was inspiring to see so many people out in the town.”
Sam said that being a musician has always been an exciting endeavour, it gives you every opportunity to restart, refresh and engage with the community.
His experience– growing up in the area – and seeing venues like Albert’s Shed grow as a music venue has been ‘tremendous’, he said.
The music scene in Shropshire has come a long way, with venues offering open mic nights and a network of individuals now dedicated to the cause.
“Jamie has worked so tremendously hard to get this off the ground,” Sam added. “He’s already talking about next year’s opportunities.
“He has solidified that there is so much on offer in the Shrewsbury area and in Shropshire.”
Jamie and the Loopfest team are now working on next year’s event, and are planning to introduce more stages, including more family activities and interactive elements that grow bigger year on year.
Sam and other artists have been in touch and spoken about how they can support the growth of the festival in years to come.