Shattering the previous attendance record, 120,000 people attended Bord Bia’s Bloom 2017 festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin over the June bank holiday weekend. Welcoming this year’s increased attendance, Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive of Bord Bia commented, “We are proud that our Bloom event has developed into such an inspirational festival of creativity, a place where creators of food and drink, of gardens, craft and art get a platform to tell their story.
Each year, Bloom provides Bord Bia, and our key stakeholders, with an invaluable opportunity to engage with consumers, helping us to build insight, learn and share new ideas while celebrating and showcasing the best of Ireland’s horticulture, food and drink industry. In addition to being a great place to visit, Bloom has a strong track record of delivering sales and new business for our stakeholders, both here onsite and more importantly developing trade relationships for future business. This is a key component of the show, and one that Bord Bia is keen to deliver and build upon.”
This year’s event also received a ringing endorsement from Bob Sweet, former Head of Judging for the Royal Horticulture Society in the UK. Mr. Sweet, who has visited the show on many occasions, said “there is no doubt in my mind that this year’s Bloom event is better than Chelsea. It is a world-class showcase and Bord Bia should be very proud of what it has achieved in a relatively short period of time. I recall the first show back in 2007 and it is just incredible to see how the event has evolved.”
As the festival draws to a close, Bord Bia has released some of the event facts and figures from the last five days, starting with the fact that Bord Bia’s exit survey shows that over 30% of this year’s visitors were first time Bloom visitors.
Bloom 2017 attracted many newly established food companies, and craft makers. 33% of exhibitors within the Food Village were new to Bloom and a third of the Craft Village retailers were new companies and new to Bloom.
Within the Food Village, Jelly Bean Factory gave away 50,000 beans, East Coast Bakehouse handed out over 25,000 biscuits and Wild Irish Seaweed sold 100 kilos of dry seaweed over the weekend. Before the doors opened to the public on Friday, over 250 food buyers attended Bord Bia’s business breakfast at Bloom for face to face meetings with the exhibiting food and drink companies.
VIP visitors over the weekend included President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald; China’s new Ambassador to Ireland, Yue Xiaoyong and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. Many of Ireland’s top chefs, TV stars and celebrities also attended including Marty Morrissey, Marty Whelan, Aine Lawlor, Miriam O’Callaghan, Joe Duffy, Derval O’Rourke, the O’Donovan brothers, singer songwriter Cathy Davey and Roz Purcell to name but a few.
It will take a full two weeks to clear the Bloom site, having taken 31 days to build, demonstrating the sheer scale of this year’s festival, with a total of 4,000 people working onsite over the 5 days including 200 Bord Bia volunteers.
According to Bord Bia, plans and preparations are already well underway for Bloom 2018, with many showgardens, sponsors and designers already signed up and it has been confirmed that Bloom 2018 will take place from Thursday, May 31st to Monday, June 4th 2018.
For more information visit www.bloominthepark.com.