Creating a buzz around the UK’s largest free festival

Delivering a full package of PR services for SO Festival, the free, family-friendly arts festival.

In 2016, Cartwright Communications was tasked with carrying out a Midlands focussed PR campaign complete with high-quality copywriting, social media, event management, community engagement, and videography.

For the second year running, the team worked to create a buzz around SO Festival, establishing it as a family-friendly event and reinforcing it as the most exciting, innovative, and accessible attraction in the UK.

Cartwright worked closely with the SO Festival marketing team and festival director to develop a PR plan and social media strategy including targeted promotion via Facebook. Interest in the run up to the festival was generated through local media coverage, on-going content creation, and engagement through Facebook and Twitter. This activity was also integral to the development of the festival programme.

The Cartwright team also attended the opening night and closing weekend of the festival, managing photographers, acting as media liaison and providing real-time social support while sourcing video clips.


  • More than 110 clippings were generated including broadcast and online, reaching more than 17 million people.
  • Facebook page likes increased by 25% and Twitter followers were improved by 7%.
  • A fantastic bank of professional photography was managed for use in editorial and future marketing materials.
  • Cartwright also produced a promotional video for next year’s festival.
  • Despite bad weather during the nine-day event thousands of people gathered for the spectacle.

Lorna Fulton, festival director, said: “Cartwright Communications were a pleasure to work with in the run up to SO Festival and during the nine days of the festival. Cartwright spent time with the team to ensure that all communications achieved the aims and objectives of the festival. The team planned a coherent marketing campaign to ensure we got the most out of our communications and the most out of the festival.”