At last, we know how much the Radio 1 Big Weekend cost the people of Swindon, about £400,000 — much the same as it has cost other councils. Half of that, £200,000, went on transport and stewarding; another £160,000 on the police and £40,000. What we don’t yet know — and probably won’t for some time, if ever — is what the financial benefit to Swindon was, despite the council’s speculation.
In the absence of much hard evidence, I’m of the view that this was probably money well spent. What worries me is that the council seems to have made little, if any, effort to do the sums in advance. To quote Mr Young.
It was difficult, as we didn’t know how much it would cost but we knew that Cardiff spent £500,000 in 2003.
And that is what they regard as careful financial planning!