Herald Express Tourism & Hospitality Awards

Powderham hosts 2016 Event of the Year.

 BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend at Powderham Castle has won Gold as Tourism Event of the Year at the Herald Express Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2016. The annual event, which honours the best of tourism in the English Riviera and South Devon region, took place at the English Riviera Centre, Torquay on Thursday evening.

 Powderham Castle, the 600-year-old home to the Earl and Countess of Devon, is one of Devon’s best loved events venues and is located on the banks of the Exe estuary just a few miles from Exeter. With its stunning backdrop and long history of hosting memorable events, it is no surprise that when Exeter council was first approached by the BBC, they recommended Powderham as the perfect venue.

 The Big Weekend 2016 was produced by the BBC Radio 1  in partnership with Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council, and was hosted by Powderham Castle. The ancient deer park and grounds welcomed 50,000 music lovers to enjoy live performances from over 40 of the biggest UK and international acts across 2 days at the end of May, including Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and many more.  As well as great music, the event was a huge logistical and operational success, with minimal transport disruption due to a robust traffic plan, and the availability of bus and rail options for all.  Many took advantage of the beautiful new Exe cycle trail and some even arrived by ferry!

 Charlie Courtenay, Earl of Devon:

“It was an honour to work with Teignbridge and Exeter councils to bring Radio 1’s Big Weekend to Devon.  As Chris Martin said ‘there’s no place like home’ and it was a pleasure to welcome so many West Country music fans to Powderham, our home, to revel in such a remarkable event. We are delighted that so many Herald Express readers considered this the best tourism event of the year and congratulate Teignbridge, Exeter and the BBC on this accolade.”

The Powderham deer park, home to a herd of 600 fallow deer, recovered quickly from the event, and the spectacular deer can now be viewed on Powderham’s regular Deer Rut Safaris. Powderham has since hosted another two musical events this season – the Lockdown Festival and Let’s Rock Exeter – and is already planning a busy events calendar for 2017.