To utilise an empty open space in the Richmond district and provide a positive atmosphere and to bring a sense of community to Richmond.
Following on from Be Richmond’s previous We Gather at Whittaker Avenue programme, we installed a ‘Pop Up Garden’ for 20 weeks. which consisted of astroturf, gorgeous wooden ascot shelters, astro-covered seating, a stage with electric hookup, benches with QR codes to local eateries and dazzling decorations and florals hanging from a stunning arch entryway! Free events were hosted in Whittaker Avenue most weekends, from their initial launch party where the Mayor of Richmond, Julia Cambridge officially opened the garden. For the rest of the duration of August and September, Whittaker Avenue was alive with music, acts and entertainment, from local singers, Jazz Bands and even circus skills for children!
Whittaker Avenue then transformed into a playful Pumpkin Patch, featuring 200 pumpkins, with pumpkin decorating for children, to come and carve and decorate one of the pumpkins for free to take home. Whittaker Avenue also hosted Be Strictly Spooktacular, with local dance legend Andrew Cuerden, hosting a free dance lesson to Richmond residents, with a creepy Halloween twist. Whittaker Avenue was then flooded with poppies in collaboration with the local Poppy Factory to pay homage to Remembrance day.
Christmas then covered Whittaker Avenue, from gorgeous baubles hanging from the archway, a full tenting covering the seating area, Christmas trees, twinkling fairy lights and rustic wood chippings over the floor for an authentic Christmas feel. Christmas was officially launched with a Guerrilla style light switch on with The Grinch ‘stealing’ Christmas, yet it was miraculously saved by the Mayor and Cindy Lou Who! Whittaker Avenue also hosted many festive choirs, Harlequins rugby team, Christmas Craft workshops for children to write their letters to Santa and a visit from Father Christmas and his elves!
Whittaker Avenue was an incredibly successful installation. For the launch event itself, Be Richmond received over 74,000 impressions on social media, with a 1,858.6% increase in engagement on Facebook and a 480% increase in brand awareness on Twitter. Google Ads for the launch also resulted in 88.6k impressions. All of these stats have continued to rise both organically and as a result of further events, with Facebook engagement increasing by 4,222% and impressions by 2,536% and overall social media impressions reached an incredible 900,000. Not only were the social media and other digital stats immensely successful, Whittaker Avenue also managed to bring a tremendous sense of community to Richmond, and provide a beautiful, positive and free space for the general public.