Coming down to earth at the Big Outdoor Show: Organisers ‘disappointed’

The Big Outdoor Show
The Big Outdoor Show

The weather may not have been perfect but the great outdoors beckoned for hundreds of visitors to Willen Lake over the bank holiday weekend.

Young and old enjoyed MK’s first ever Big Outdoor Show which offered a range of attractions including adventure pursuits and entertainment, plus a guest appearance by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who was visiting Milton keynes on the back of a desert run fundraiser.

But after spending a whopping £200,000 on the event, a mere 3,500 people showed up.

Show organiser Pauline Gibson said they were expecting more than five times that after the amount of money spent on advertising and promotion.

She said: “I am disappointed with the footfall over the weekend.

“We did not get the amount of people we were expecting, but I just don’t know why.

“It could be a number of factors – the weather forecast to be rain, so families might not have planned to be outdoors.

“Or it could have been that people were away on holiday because it was a bank holiday.”

But that didn’t stop new mayor Keith McLean and mayoress, his wife Vicki, coming to join in on the fun.

The pair opened the event, which was one of their first official duties since being sworn in last week.

Mr McLean joined other thrill-seekers to experience a free-fall leap from 15m on to a giant airbag.

Ms Gibson added: “We want to build on this and come back stronger next year so we would welcome feedback from the public.”