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Wayne Hemingway wants to help with ‘the cost of weekend crisis’


Celebrity designer Wayne Hemingway hopes to “alleviate the cost of weekend crisis” through the free festival he has co-founded at MediaCityUK.

New research by the We Invented the Weekend festival, in partnership with Ipsos, revealed the latest crisis, with one in three Britons (35%) expecting to reduce the amount they go out socially such as to bars or restaurants compared with last year, and three in 10 anticipating reducing the frequency in which they do paid local activities such as go to the cinema or concerts.

In each case those planning a fall outnumber those who expect to do more (just under one in five), though around four in 10 anticipate little change. A further 26% expect to do fewer activities that involve travel or time away within the UK, such as day trips or music festivals.

Among those who say they’re planning to go out less this year compared to last (across any of the activities), the main reasons involve the need to save, with the most common responses including: the need to save on bills and daily expenses (50%), being unable to afford social activities (43%) and saving for longer-term purchases e.g. getting on the housing ladder or going on holiday (32%).

The research highlights that the public’s engagement with weekend social activity has changed in response to the cost-of-living crisis as consumers spend more on energy, fuel, food and resources and have less money to spend on social activities and travel.

Hemingway said “With current hybrid working models, the weekends are more important than ever to reconnect, but they are clearly under threat with the cost of weekend crisis. Life is different in 2023 – we are saving as much money as possible by staying in to save for the future, but it’s unfortunately at the cost of the weekend.

“Large scale free festivals such as We Invented the Weekend offers consumers a chance to experience activities and socialising they have been restricted from at no cost, so we’re hopeful the weekender will let our festival-goers take a step away from everyday life and help alleviate the cost of weekend crisis. It is a full circle moment being able to host a large scale free festival which celebrates everything that people love to do at the weekend in the place where the weekend was invented.”

We Invented the Weekend pitches up at MediaCityUK on Saturday and Sunday June 3-4 this year. The two-day event is supported by partners including the BBC, RHS, The Lowry, Manchester United and will celebrate the joy of free time, taking in sports, music, comedy, theatre, dance, workshops, talks, food, charity, wellness, crafts and more.

Activities on offer include water sports on the canal, community feasts, dance performances, planting workshops and vintage markets.

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