VW Festival

VW Festival - Case Study

The VW Festival at Harewood House is one of the biggest summertime attractions in the North of England.  It’s a full weekend of live entertainment, live music and VWs galore. Now in its twelfth year, it gets bigger and better every year.  Last year’s festival saw over 20,000 fans through its gates!

VW at Harewood is not just for VW enthusiasts, it’s for the whole family, including the dog!


The founding fathers of the VW Festival at Harewood House, Paul Scott and Shane Beardsley, realised that although they were enjoying an ever growing popularity among classic car lovers they were also drawing in huge numbers of people who craved a family and animal friendly music and motor festival set in beautiful surroundings. But their dilemma was how best to channel this so it became the most popular event of the summer in Yorkshire whilst maintaining its roots in the love of this iconic car make.

Shane Beardsley and Paul Scott, co-directors of the festival, said:

“When we spoke to Fiona we realised that although we had successfully established a fan base who enjoyed what we did, there was a whole other world out there that needed telling we existed. Our close relationship with Fiona and the team grew out of mutual respect for people and what makes them tick.

Fiona respects the fact that by day we’re hard working business men but by night we’re lovers of classic cars and what they can do for the soul. Through our ability to come up with ideas together we soon realised we could combine adrenaline fueled fun through motors, music, dance and drama so that it captured the hearts of people looking for a festival that’s very cool, whilst very safe for their nearest and dearest to enjoy.”

What FDPR did:

When we spoke to Shane and Paul we realised that although they were highly disciplined in their organisation of the festival, and knew their fan base, they weren’t so sure about how best to publicise their event so that it didn’t lose its ethos but did attract people who only knew it as a motor event.

We drew up a plan of action to educate the various press avenues, both locally and nationally and, as the event had a huge online following, we channelled the best of its past events and started to share its social media updates and in the end had daily podcasts and fan reactions to all aspects of the event from the first ticket sold through to the last person through the gate. We promoted the event through TV, radio, online news broadcasts and specialist magazines.  One of its biggest fans, who is also an established TV and radio presenter, fronts the team and has become the voice and face of Harewood’s VW Festival!

Fiona Dwyer, Director of FDPR, said:

“The VW Festival team are an absolute joy to work with. We’ve known and worked with them for 7 years now and can honestly say we never tire of their enthusiasm and ability to put on a first class event.

“As the team has grown, they’ve been very aware of never losing that close knit approach.  We all work together to ensure the festival is a fun, safe and happy environment and experience for everyone - and we look forward to working with them again on this year's festival!”

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