Organisers behind Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, have unveiled the 2023 show theme as ‘From the Deep’. As the name suggests, this year’s show will have an aquatic theme and has been designed to create a bigger splash than ever before.
Now in its 21st year, The Enchanted Forest has won numerous awards including Best Cultural Event at the VisitScotland Regional Awards in 2018, Best Outdoor Festival at the Scottish Outdoor & Leisure Awards 2017, Best Cultural Event at the UK Event Awards 2016.
The event, which will run from 5 October until 5 November 2023 in Faskgally Wood in Perthshire, will showcase Scotland’s natural landscape as its Autumnal best.
Blending light, video, and sound to create a truly unique visitor experience, Faskally Wood will transform into an underwater forest with a deep watery glow of aqua blue and green. As with previous years, this year’s show will include several impressive installations, including a spectacular light show over Loch Dunmore which will use music, animation, projection, beams, lights, and lasers to tell the story of bioluminescent creatures that are found throughout marine habitats, from the ocean surface to the deep seafloor.
Nela Popovic, executive director of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to be announcing our new show theme ‘From the Deep’. Our aim is to raise the creative bar year on year by introducing new themes and this year we promise our visitors will be captivated.”
Economic Impact of £10 million
An independent economic impact assessment report commissioned by the Enchanted Forest Community Trust, found that the 2022 Enchanted Forest event was responsible for delivering an impressive economic impact of nearly £10 million to Highland Perthshire last Autumn.
The report, undertaken by the Tourism Resources Company, affirmed the event’s significant role in delivering an impressive shot in the arm to the local tourism economy in and around Pitlochry every autumn. The 2022 show, which took place between 29 September and 30 October, welcomed over 83,000 visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
As part of the economic impact assessment report, designed to assess the fiscal impact of the event on the Perth and Kinross economy, a visitor survey was conducted online with 5,463 respondents. The visitor survey found the vast majority of visitors (92%) only visited Pitlochry because of The Enchanted Forest event, the majority of visitors (91%) were from outside Perth and Kinross, and 51% had stayed overnight, benefitting local businesses such as Fishers Hotel, Scotland’s Spa Hotel and McKays Hotel and local eateries Victorias, Old Mill Inn and McKays Chip Shop, as well as the numerous independent shops in Pitlochry. In addition, the event uses local suppliers as much as possible.
The overall event was rated highly with over 90% of visitors enjoying their visit, with 83% rated the overall value for money as excellent/very good. The visitor survey also highlighted the continuing popularity of the event, with the number of repeat visits continuing to rise year on year, with 57% of visitors at the 2022 show having visited before, an increase of 41% on the 2018 event.
Monique McArdle, event producer of The Enchanted Forest, said: “This report really underlines the incredible impact that this event has on the economy of Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire every autumn, bringing in £9.9 million last year, and supporting businesses after a period of true economic turmoil and change. It also continues to have a major role to play in showcasing Pitlochry as a tourism destination. As the report shows the majority of visitors would not have considered visiting the area at all if it weren’t for the event.”
Calum MacLellan, owner of Taste Perthshire, said: “The Enchanted Forest has helped Taste Perthshire to propel the month of October to one of the busiest of the year. Being 19 miles south of Pitlochry, we have found the event has increased our afternoon and early evening dining trade. We are massive supporters of what The Enchanted Forest brings, not only to us, but to Highland Perthshire, and we hope that this encourages visitors back to this beautiful area of Scotland throughout the rest of the year.”
Tickets are on sale now. Please visit: www.enchantedforest.org.uk.