Ferrous Festival 2022 Round-up

Last month, Hereford Business Improvement District, working in partnership with Hereford College of Arts, delivered an exceptional 10 day festival that brought visitors and a sense of excitement to the city centre.

Ferrous Festival celebrates Artist Blacksmithing as an artform and attracts blacksmiths from all over the world - as well as inviting the public to have fun and discover something new. The events this March marked the third iteration of Ferrous, with previous festivals held in 2017 and 2019.

Ferrous Festival’s opening weekend, (25 – 27 March), saw the city centre come alive with the sounds of hammer on metal ringing out as over 200 members of the public embraced the opportunity to have a go at forging under the expert tuition of blacksmithing students. Demand for the Live Forging event demonstrated its continuing popularity, with tickets selling out weeks in advance. Members of the public reported their enjoyment of the event, with many having returned this year having seen (or had a go at) the live forging in previous years.

Exhibitions were staged in established and pop-up spaces around the city centre, to drive traffic throughout the city. These included empty rental units in High Town and Maylord Orchards, plus the Cathedral, Museum and Art Gallery, and the Old Market Shopping Centre. The exhibitions themselves featured a range of artwork from both international and local artists.

As the city continues to rebuild its visitor-base, following the decline in visitor numbers during the pandemic, Hereford BID are pleased to report that footfall for the city over the opening weekend and duration of Ferrous 19 recorded numbers soaring to pre-covid levels with over 148,000 visitors in total across the 10 days of the event. In addition, recorded footfall in High Town was higher for this year’s festival compared to the corresponding ten days of Ferrous 2019, with over 49,000 visitors recorded.

Ferrous was promoted widely online and in print, to reach new audiences and encourage them to book onto events and attend. The Hereford City Life website saw a increase in visitors as members of the public searched for information about the festival; over 11,000 page views on the Ferrous Festival web pages were recorded from January until the end of the festival.

Overall, Hereford BID and the other organisers of the festival are thoroughly pleased with the results of the festival and the boost that it has given to the city in what is typically a quieter time of year. The BID team are confidently looking forward to delivering a fourth Ferrous event in 2024 that will once again drive visitors to the city and provided benefit for levy-paying businesses.