Lady (Hear Me Tonight) Modjo
9 September 2013, 06:00
Charity phenomenon, Gromit Unleashed has taken Bristol by storm, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the public arts trail.
Organisers Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and Aardman say they have been overwhelmed by the response since the 5ft high sculptures hit the streets in early July.
Figures collated over the months of July and August (which do not include figures from the last week of the trail in September) show that:
· Over 200,000 people collected a map and had their passports stamped from one of the six passport stops on the trail.
· The trail has become a major tourist attraction, with national and international visitors from Japan, Taiwan, United States, Canada, Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Australia, Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy and Germany.
· Over 45,000 people have downloaded the app, raising nearly £20,000 for the charity
· Over 100,000 people have visited The Art of Gromit Unleashed shop at Upper Maudlin Street which saw queues of people waiting three and a half hours to get into the shop on the penultimate Saturday of the arts trail.
· 630 people have completed the whole trail of 80 Gromits and registered their achievements on the app and 3,000 have visited more than half of the Gromits.
· The Gromit Unleashed Facebook page has 33,000 ‘likes’ and an average monthly reach of 746,000 people and the Twitter feed has over 14,000 followers.
· Key tourist attractions and’ passport stop’s on the trail that are home to a giant Gromit sculpture have reported a dramatic increase in footfall. For example, M Shed and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery have approximately doubled their visitor numbers during July and August with nearly 200,000 (192,210) extra visitors combined compared to 2012.
Nicola Masters, director of The Grand Appeal commented:
“When we started this journey it’s fair to say that we didn’t anticipate it would become as big as it has; the undeniable enthusiasm for the Gromit Unleashed sculptures has exceeded all of our expectations. Although yesterday may have been the end of the trail, there is still plenty more fun to be had with these incredible sculptures, with the exhibition later this month and the auction in October.
We’re delighted that the Gromits have kept people entertained over the summer but of course behind all the fun, there’s a serious cause, to raise as much money as possible for Bristol children’s hospital. So if people have been inspired to help, they can visit the exhibition, buy a souvenir, make a donation or even bid for a Gromit sculpture for their office, home or garden!”
Gromiteers have come in all forms, from local to international visitors to morris dancers, choirs, scout groups, artists, marathon runners, cyclists and even the Avon & Somerset police horses - everyone has got in on the Gromit action, coining a new term to explain the art of locating the sculptures, now known as ‘gromiting.’
The 80 giant Gromit sculptures populated the city for ten weeks and have now been removed from their locations in preparation for The Greatest Dog Show on Earth and highly anticipated charity auction. The Greatest Dog Show on Earth will take place from Wednesday 18 – Sunday 22 September.
This will be the only chance for the public to see the unique collection of Gromits displayed together before they are auctioned in October to raise funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to place a sealed bid prior to the auction.
Bidders can also pre-register to bid at the auction at email@example.com
All profits raised by the Gromit Unleashed auction will go towards the Grand Appeal’s £3.5m fundraising campaign to support the expansion of Bristol Children’s Hospital.