Feedback from The Big Night Out 2016

Feedback: Big Night Out 2016 

Many thanks for taking the time to fill in our questionnaire and give feedback about BNO16. Your comments have been very helpful and more people than ever before have responded which is terrific. We will bear comments in mind for 2017 but I thought you might like some response to what you and others have said.

Naturally a fair amount of feedback is very subjective. One group hated the entertainment another loved it; one group thought the band were rubbish others thought they were the best yet. We cannot account for taste and there are some things we are unable to legislate for. Although we give the band a briefing, once they are on stage we are at their mercy. So yet again while some thought they said nothing worth saying, others were very grateful for what they said because it led to some great conversations on the way home.

Paying to come 

There has been some confusion about how people can pay. We do not have the facility or the means to set payment by credit card/debit card and do not have the facility for online payments. There is a significant cost involved in renting and linking up a machine, plus each transaction would cost a %age. Due to VAT changes this year we had to abandon using Eventbright which would have made the ticket price unrealistic. The bank account is held for us by Urban Saints and at present we can only offer payments by cheque, BACS (bank transfer) or cash on the day. We have clearly stated this on the website. Paying via PayPal has been suggested and we will look into this but as such we need to make it as simple yet cost effective as possible.


It costs around £28-£30,000 to put this event on each year. Our budget is based on 2000 attendees but this year we were slightly down. This means that our contingency fund for next year has fallen. Although we plan for a great BNO17 we will not be able to afford bands such as Lz7 or Rend Collective, nor can we afford a bigger stage – all reasonable suggestions that you made. We are reviewing the position of the stage for next year. Options are very limited so if you have other band suggestions please let us know.

Field and Park 

Some of you thought we should do something about the many young people running about on the field rather than engaging with what was happening on stage. I’m afraid this is down to you – their leaders. (Although don’t forget that there is something to be said about being part of the overall atmosphere as well as what is happening on stage). As for inappropriate lyrics and songs played; point taken, but again we cannot vet everything in advance and more people, including adults, joined in with dancing to Hey Macarena than anything else – a party classic it would seem!

A few of you mentioned the closure of rides early. We have no control over this. The staff at Lightwater Valley knows precisely when to close rides based on how long the queues are; therefore the likes of The Ultimate will seem to close early. If they don’t have sufficient staff other rides may also have to close early too. Don’t forget that Lightwater are bound by the same legislation on working practice and safety everyday of the year, not just at the Big Night Out. Over the years we have built up a great working relationship with LWV, and we work hard on the day to keep it a friendly relationship, so it was good to receive complimentary comments about their staff too. Thank you.

A number of you mentioned the crush potential at the end of teatime when the rides reopened. Thank you for this. We will carefully look into how we can manage this better next year, although yet again we need all leaders to help us achieve this. We will be looking for more over 18’s as stewards next year too.

We got feedback from LWV as well – unfortunately one group of young people, whilst their leader watched, ‘broke into’ a closed ride and another allowed their young people to crawl over the Jurassic Park area when closed in spite of notices stating to keep off. Thankfully it didn’t result in making make a claim to our insurers! Again leaders we need your sense of responsibility to kick in!


The question of toilets continues to be a problem. We pay for extra toilets to be available on the field and there are several toilet blocks dotted around the park. You may need to look for them. We fed back about the state of toilets, but this may also have been toward the end of shifts – they were cleaned while we were there.


“Best yet” – but where is the leaders lounge? We don’t have one, as in the past people were just sitting in there all day and not patronising LWV’s cafe outlet, particularly when the public were in the park. There is always the Hungry Harbour cafe as an alternative to the Conservatory. We have to work with what is available to us and would also encourage leaders to spend time with their young people.

So – what is BNO about? 

Some of your feedback has led us to realise that there are some misconceptions about BNO. It therefore might be helpful for you to know what the partners decided it should be some time ago: BNO is: 

  • First and foremost a great fun day out for young people with their leaders to enjoy together.
  • An event where young people feel confident and able to invite their ‘non-Christian friends’.
  • Theologically gentle and purposefully pre-evangelism. (It’s for you to run with it and make it what you need it to be).
  • Open to church affiliated groups and parachurch organisations.
  • Open to Christian and non-Christian alike.
  • Organised by a partnership of Christian organisations facilitated by LWV Events team.
  • An opportunity for leaders to talk further about matters of faith with their young people – especially on the way home and afterwards.
  • Different every year!
  • For those at secondary school.
  • Staffed by volunteers.

BNO is not: 

  • A worship event (there may be elements of worship but this is not the primary aim).
  • A missed opportunity for an altar call. (It causes too many problems for a number of reasons)
  • An alternative church.
  • For those at primary school (year 6 will just have to wait until they’re in year 7).
  • A commercial event to make profit. (We aim to break even in order to have another one next year – we have JUST enough in the bank to start planning BNO17)!

So thank you very much for your feedback and many messages of thanks. We greatly appreciate it and do consider all that is said, especially objective comments that may help to shape next year.

The partners meet on 3rd Oct to start planning next year and your feedback is invaluable.

We also have a provisionally booked a date for next year’s BNO 2017 – Sat 20 May! As far as we are aware, it doesn’t clash with the FA Cup Final! Phew!

On behalf of the BNO Partners: Diocese of York, Diocese of West Yorkshire & the

Dales, Boys Brigade & Girls Brigade, Scripture Union, The Methodist Church, Urban Saints.

Chair: Nigel Chapman

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