Unboxed Festival (Festival UK 2022): FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Could you provide details of all funding and resources provided by the Scottish Government for the Unboxed festival (previously Festival UK* 2022)?

The request includes details of ScotGov funding for Event Scotland, Creative Scotland, local authorities relating to any Unboxed events, any individual producers overseeing Unboxed events, as well as any funding supporting Unboxed directly.

The request is for sum totals of relevant funding, as well as how they may have been distributed to relevant third parties or projects.

Could you also provide audience figures of those attending About Us, the evening live light event which launched Unboxed outside Paisley Abbey from February 28th 2022 to March 6th 2022?


If you are not already aware then it may be helpful for you to know that the Scottish Government, along with the Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government, have signed a Concordat (Memorandum of Understanding) to facilitate the joint delivery of UNBOXED.

Unboxed is made up of 10 projects. Scottish Ministers have specifically appointed EventScotland as the Strategic Delivery Body for the commission and delivery of the Scottish UNBOXED project, Dandelion. As the Strategic Delivery Body for Scottish activity, EventScotland also offers advice and support to the other UNBOXED projects with a delivery footprint in Scotland when requested to do so by the project.

In support of the Scottish activity, Scottish Ministers have assigned total funding of £11.002 million (gross) to EventScotland split across two financial years, 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Within the overall sum allocated to EventScotland, funding is included to provide support for identified activities such as:

  • Dandelion project commission - £7.08 million net (£8.5m gross incl. VAT)
  • Commissioning, governance, management, and engagement. Contribution to wider shared programme activities; including learning and participation resources, marketing, digital and communications, evaluation and monitoring, international engagement– £2.14 million net (£2.5m gross incl. VAT)

EventScotland is a directorate of VisitScotland. VisitScotland is classified as an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB). The Scottish Ministers are ultimately accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the activities of VisitScotland and its use of resources. They are not however responsible for its day to day operational matters. Operational matters such as staff recruitment and allocation of funding to individual aspects of the Dandelion project are for VisitScotland and Dandelion to make, in line with delivery of the overall objectives of the project. No further breakdown of funding is therefore held by the Scottish Government.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold all of the information you have requested. In the Scottish Government, work on UNBOXED is coordinated by the Major Events and Themed Years Unit, with two members of staff incorporating this as part of their existing roles. In line with usual practice, details of individual tasks carried out by civil servants, including the number of hours spent on them, are not routinely recorded because there is no business need to do this.

In addition to the £11.002 million, a total budget of £15,000 was used by the Scottish Government to develop a bank of international and domestic communications materials to promote Scotland’s creative values, action for sustainability and climate justice via key delivery partners for Dandelion.

Attendance at About Us, Paisley
The inaugural Unboxed event, About Us, which opened in Paisley on 1 March 2022, was commissioned by the central UNBOXED team, rather than by the Scottish Government or VisitScotland. The central UNBOXED team has indicated to the Scottish Government that an estimated 50,000 people attended this free event. The Scottish Government does not hold any further details on attendance at this particular event.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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