Following its hugely successful 2021 winter illumination trail at Cobtree Manor Park, Glow Arts has been contracted to run the seasonal event for the next five years.
Headed up by Rainham-based Glow Arts founder and creative director, Lisa Carpendale, the debut in December 2021 saw the beautiful Maidstone park transformed into a magical, twinkling immersive experience complete with fairy lights/festoon lights and art installations that lit up the woods as darkness fell.
Aiming to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, sensory sessions were included for guests in need of a more low-key experience and thought was given to the design for people with mobility concerns.
Local community involvement was also a priority; the on-site food market served up treats and drinks from Kent vendors and a local school (Parkwood Juniors, Maidstone) took part in a workshop to make lanterns for the trail.
Support has also been re-contracted with Faversham-based marketing and PR agency Izzy PR that led on the communications strategy.
26,000 tickets were sold for the 2021 two-week event, with people of all ages from Kent and beyond visiting. Due to the success and demand for tickets last year, Glow will opening earlier and run for more weeks, reaching an estimated 55,000 people.
Lisa will be inviting business sponsorship in 2022 to both support the event and also allow companies to reach this huge footfall right on top of Christmas.
The event was aided by a project grant from Arts Council England.
Lisa said: “The feedback from last year’s trail has been fantastic and to be asked back for another five years is testament to the success of our first year. Cobtree Manor Park is such a beautiful venue, and we feel so privileged to be able to continue to use this wonderful setting for the next five years. We’ve learnt a lot from our debut event and will be using that to make this year’s even more magical and most importantly, accessible and inclusive, because arts should be available to everyone.”