Sunshine and Success for The Waterways Festival 2011

news_festival2011150pxIssue date: 1 August 2011

The huge swell of support from boaters, volunteers, exhibitors and visitors has generated the most successful national festival for The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) since 2007.

The Waterways Festival, staged in Burton upon Trent from 29th to 31st July, also enjoyed beautiful weather for the three day event which was a welcome return after a run of mixed weather for the last four years.  

Latest figures from the festival organisers revealed:

  • Around 25,000 visitors attended the event over the three day period
  • 360 boats moored along the Trent and Mersey canal – stretching 1.5 miles in either direction of the festival site.
  • A record breaking 28 historic boats were on show
  • 350 camping units stayed on-site
  • volunteers were involved in staging the festival
  • 250+ organisations exhibited - ranging from boat builders to local crafts people

Commenting on the success of The Waterways Festival 2011, Ian West - IWA Festivals Chairman said:

“It’s been a delight to return to Burton which has been a beautiful site for us to stage this year’s festival.  We have been really encouraged by boaters, local authorities and of course, the general public, who have attended and supported the IWA’s longstanding campaign for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s Inland Waterways. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us this year – it’s been a truly spectacular event.”

Established since 1950, the Festival is an exciting and colourful extravaganza and a memorable day out for the whole family, with a wealth of experiences to be discovered.  

Over 250 exhibitors attended the festival – here are some of the comments made:

 “We’ve taken lots of subscriptions over the long weekend and completely sold out of our magazines.  It’s been a great success and we’d be happy to come back anytime.”
Chris Cattrall, Editor of Canals, Boats and Rivers

“It’s been an excellent event for us.  This is our 6th year and we keep coming back.  From an exhibitor point of view the logistics have been superb.
Paul Brown of award winning frozen yoghurt company, Margaret’s Frozen Luxuries

 “The new date has really worked well from our point of view.  It’s been an all round excellent show with a good cross section of boats for people to see combined with great weather which has drawn the crowds across the three days.”
Andrew Barton, Managing Director of BCBM

Harry Arnold MBE, this year’s Festival Chairman and renowned waterways photographer and journalist summed up:

“It’s been a very proud few days for me.  I have spent most of my adult life campaigning for the restoration of the waterways and I am delighted to have been Festival Chairman this year.   The IWA member volunteers have staged a fantastic festival – they really are the life and soul of our organisation. 

“This year’s festival has been one of our best ever and we are looking forward to staging many more in the future.”