Volunteers praised after Youth Beatz brings in over £560,000

This year’s Youth Beatz festival brought in £564,000 of direct visitor spend into the region’s economy.

The event – the UK’s largest free youth music festival – celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and was attended by over 39,000 people.

Volunteer Scotland’s calculation model also provided a figure of £145,924 for in-kind contribution value of the work of the volunteers.

Dumfries and Galloway Council will consider an evaluation report into the festival on Tuesday.

The report will ask members to acknowledge the key contribution of the 202 volunteers involved in the Youth Beatz Festival and The Toon. Members will also be asked to note the significant economic impacts of the festival as well as the social impacts.

The festival is made up of three main elements – The Main Days, The Toon and the Fringe Festival.

The Main Days is the two-day music festival itself, aimed at a primary audience of 12 to 25-year-olds and held over a Saturday and Sunday. It gives those attending access to information on a range of issues affecting them, as well giving them the fantastic opportunity to watch the stars of music. Recent headliners include Scouting for Girls, Professor Green and The Vamps.

The Toon uses powerful drama to challenge young people to think about various issues that affect them in everyday life. Issues that The Toon has touched on include mental health, bullying, drugs, smoking and domestic abuse. The show is developed and performed by Youth Work volunteers and allows them to work on skills such as script writing, drama and research techniques to deliver the show.

The Fringe Festival is an eight-day festival that takes place in communities across the region. It contains a mix of free targeted event and activities for young people by working with young community groups in each area of the region.

The report that Councillors will receive at the meeting details that 182 young people were involved in the co-design and the subsequent delivery of Youth Beatz 2019. Volunteers worked on everything from ticketing to photography and lighting to catering in order to make the event the success it was.”

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chair of Communities Committee for the Council said: “The success of Youth Beatz is something that, as a Councillor, I am becoming used to. That said, it does not make me any less proud to be part of an organisation that helps provide this wonderful event for our own young people, and in doing so gives so many people the opportunity to use existing skills as well as learn new ones in helping put the event on through volunteering. Youth Beatz 2019 was an enormous success and I fully endorse this report.”

Vice Chair of Communities Committee, Councillor John Martin added: “What this report does is shows those who continually challenge why our Council funds Youth Beatz exactly why we do. Over £500,000 of economic benefit to the region is an absolutely magnificent return on our investment in Youth Beatz. It continues to grow from strength to strength and I am sure the 2020 event will be one to remember.”

Youth Beatz 2020 will take place at Park Farm, Dumfries on June 27-28.