Scarefest 2020

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 10th Nov 2019.

  1. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Again it depends what the event is. Getting the decorations out of storage and putting some bunting, pumpkins and haybales down TowersStreet costs almost nothing and the evening hours with the ability to ride in the dark will bring some additional people to the park, particularly for half term. If they get the usual decorations out and do the bare minumum shows it will get some extra visitors for half term and they get more ticket sales.

    Designing and running a scare maze is more expensive, although dusting off the same plans as the year before will be a lot cheaper and they also charge extra fees for the mazes so some of the additional spend is recouped. But at the moment it is impossible to say whether by October a scare maze could be run due to distancing issues or whether that restriction will be gone.
     
  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    If they feel like these events will bring them higher profit margins, which I honestly think they could, then I don’t see why they couldn’t attempt to do some of them. Something like Oktoberfest, for example, could be quite easy to pull off with social distancing; it’s not really any different to an outdoor market, which opened on 1st June.
     
  3. Mr Pearse

    Mr Pearse TowersStreet Member

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    It’s all about gate numbers. If you go from having 20-25000 for an event to then drop it down to around 8-9000 that’s a lot of revenue lost. So it’s fine putting it on but it’s then how do you recoup The money with less then half the forecasted attendance figures.
     
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  4. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    I get the argument about Merlin not wanting to spend money and recoup losses, but stuff like Scarefest has been proven i the past to bring in the guests. Look at 2015, we could of got a far weaker line-up of experiences after The Smiler crash, but we got perhaps the biggest investment in the event since the early years of Scarefest, and it worked.

    Granted, this situation is far different from that, but I don't think Scarefest will be a total 'write-off'. Scarefest is a money-maker and always has been, so I'm sure they're eager to get something put together even if it isn't what we've been used to over the past 2-3 years.
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    But with no event at all then you might only get 5000 guests show up on a cold October day. Offering something you can't get on a regular day (even if it is just rides in the dark) will help pull extra guests to visit.
     
  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    If it wasnt going to happen, they would have said by now.
    Distancing rules will have changed by then, merlin want the extra money.
    It will happen in some form, probably booking only in advance for whatever they put on maze wise.
     
  7. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Even if the distance has reduced to 1m, that is estimated to let businesses operate at 60-75% capacity as opposed to 30% at 2m, so with Towers’ listed capacity of 28,000 in 2014 (potentially a little less now), a 1m rule would mean that the park could in theory let in at least 16,000 guests. To be honest, I think the park very rarely got over that number anyway in the post-Smiler years, so a 1m rule would probably have very little effect on Towers’ business.

    Besides, as @rob666 said; they would have cancelled the events by now if they definitely weren’t happening. They’re still being advertised on the digital boards around the park!
     
  8. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    There is absolutely no way to know any of this for sure unless you work for Alton Towers' management
     
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  9. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    That’s very true, but I’m going off what I read in the media about pubs and restaurants. They’re admittedly a different kettle of fish, but I’d guess that Towers’ potential guest figures would increase quite substantially if the rule was changed to 1m.

    With regards to the 28,000 figure, it’s listed on Wikipedia with the citation of a news outlet talking about Alton Towers Live in 2014, and I’ve also heard it listed more recently in other places.
     
  10. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    Nah I don't think that follows at all - they announced the park was closing pre-lockdown mere days before it did (and that was a week government announced the lockdown).

    Pulling Scarefest will definitely be on the table, but to be honest I doubt they'll have made a final decision yet - it'll depend entirely on how they trade during the first few weeks of being open.With regards to it being advertised on digital signage, I'd put that down to simply being left over from park opening, and no one having thought to take it down.
     
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  11. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If numbers justified I see no reason why they couldn't run a small Scarefest offering. Kids shows on Towers Street, park decorated, late night rides... all that would be missing is the scare mazes and Alton Ancestors. I guess it depends what happens from July and how many guests they actually get visiting.

    Fireworks is more likely to be cancelled as it's unrealistic to manage large crowds with social distancing.
     
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  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I admit Fireworks is unlikely, but I could see Scarefest and Oktoberfest being attempted if guest numbers over the summer are good enough!
     
  13. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Not seen any actor audition calls yet for any scare attraction this year. Should have been seeing them by now.
    Can’t see there being any mazes operating
    Unless something changes. ie the virus vanishes
    I know I won’t be working
     
  14. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    Well don't forget, there's practically no HR team or any Ents team right now - all are Furloughed - so there's no one to go about hiring actors lol.

    Having said that, yep, recruitment will also be a stumbling block for Scarefest.
     
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  15. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Scarefest as an event could well still happen; and you could probably operate some form of scare zone where the actors do not get close to guests. But it does not seem at all possible that scare mazes could function at the moment; they are such confined spaces with groups of people put together in close proximity.

    Another stumbling block for something like Scarefest; it is largely a thrill seekers events as opposed to a family event. You would imagine that many of the guests are groups of friends from different households. Unless the rules change about being able to meet with other households (which they may well have done by October) then surely something like Scarefest is not sustainable without many people just breaking the rules (which is probably what would be happening by then anyway).

    It will be much easier and less risky for Merlin/Towers to cancel the event this year rather than planning for it to go ahead and then possibly having to cancel fairly late on when money has already been spent.
     
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  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Thats probably true for the weekends but the half term week is likely to have a reasonable number of families. Thorpe's fright nights are probably much worse for groups of friends.
     
  17. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    Video from TPWW shows the audio for 'The Attic' being blasted out of The Towers. This could have no relation to Scarefest going ahead or not, but perhaps is fairly promising news that something is being done/worked on inside The Towers in terms of Scarefest.

    I agree that the biggest issues will be stuff like recruitment, preparation and the road-map to rules being lifted not extending beyond July 4th in terms of groups from different households etc. It'll be a difficult decision and I'm guessing they're holding out for more announcements to be made or some indication on the movement of the lockdown rules. I'd say most things are probably ready/waiting to go though, such as The Attic and Mine Tours already being set-up. It'll be stuff like Sub Species and Darkest Depths that would need fully constructing, which is probably still doable in time.

    Could just of randomly been turned on though for no reason.
     
  18. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    Recent Twitter response on the Alton Towers page confirms Oktoberfest and Scarefest are scheduled to run this year at present.
     
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  19. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Couldn’t they go back to using the actors in the queue lines and in some of the attractions instead? Haunted Hollow could also be reused.
     
    Last edited: 1st Jul 2020
    Posted 1st Jul 2020
    #79
  20. Vicky

    Vicky TowersStreet Member

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    Having organised scare events myself previously, I wouldn't be comfortable running a scare maze, even with distancing at 1 metre. From experience, it's easy to get carried away trying to get a good scare and I could see actors sometimes struggling to maintain distancing, old habits die hard!

    Scare mazes aren't built for social distancing - they're the opposite, cramped spaces with poor ventilation. I wouldn't want to risk the safety of actors and guests.

    Maybe this year will see more of a focus on late night riding and family entertainment?
    Although Scarefest is known for scare mazes, scare zones would be the obvious way forward as they're outdoors and it's easier for actors to social distance.

    Is The Welcoming structure still up in the courtyard? That space could potentially be used for more of a horror experience - a show scene, think the style of the wedding with the scare rooms.

    I was going to say perhaps the Ents team could look at what Darkside have done with immersive binaural audio, they've had Séance at Warwick. Though it probably isn't the most suitable as an indoor experience that would need disinfecting between guests.
     
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    Posted 6th Jul 2020
    #80

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