Tide of Light

Worthing’s award winning lantern parade and firework festival

Tide of Light is a fun, free firework festival and lantern parade that takes place on 5th November, and it truly brings Worthing alive. With a fun fair, live entertainment, and food stalls in addition to the traditional firework night fun, the event attracts thousands of people every year. In September 2017, we were excited to start pro bono sponsorship for the event, which saw us build a WordPress website in just one week, and manage the social media in the run up to the event, and on the night.

visitors to the website in the 4 days before the event
percent of visits were from organic searches
people reached on the Tide of Light Facebook page

More Detail…

Started in 2013 by a group of Worthing residents looking for fun, family friendly entertainment on bonfire night to tie in with the fireworks on the seafront, Tide of Light was created for everyone to enjoy. Since then, it’s grown beyond the organisers’ wildest dreams, and is now an extravaganza of lanterns, fireworks, rides, food stalls, and entertainment. It’s attended by tens of thousands of people, and with this comes a hectic schedule, lots of safety info, and a nod to the many sponsors who help make it happen. This is where we could help; by building a website, and managing social media for the event.

Our clients The Beach House and The Corner House were headline sponsors for Tide of Light, having built up such a fantastic reputation in the past few years, and we were also able to get another of our clients involved; Easigrass Sussex. Initially their artificial grass covered cars were just going to be parked on Steyne Gardens, but they ended up covered in lights and leading the parade!

A speedy web design…

The site itself needed to be done quickly, as with November only two months away, time was marching on. We had a rough deadline of a week in which to get it up and running – and on this we certainly delivered.

A home page outlining all the various elements to the festival (including lantern parade route) was built and written, along with a gallery page, an FAQ and a blog, and a page that told fireworks fans how they could get involved.

In 2013 and 2014, our sister business Hector Media created videos for the event, so we were able to use this footage as an impressive part of the website; particularly the firework display. Coupled with photos taken by Ed Watts, our design sprung to life, and with a few firework puns thrown in, it all came together with a bang!

A whole lot of social media…

We began daily posts on the Facebook page, making sure we got a balance of sponsor shoutouts, essential info such as links for crafting places to make the lanterns, and general posts to drum up excitement. A crowdfunder was also set up, to raise the remaining amount needed to pay for entertainment on the night (donations and sponsorship are what keep this event free for the majority), so promoting that through social media was a priority. We duplicated these posts to a newly set up Instagram account, utilising local hashtags to reach even more people via social media. In the month before the event, the Facebook page reached a huge 50,000 people!

As November 5th approached, we had to ensure all bases were covered when it came to what was happening on the night – from the parade route to when the roads were going to be closed for the event. This meant an intense few days of social media, but with a mixture of scheduled and short-notice posts, we managed it!

A spectacular success…

On the night, we were in amongst the action, taking photos, video, and Facebook live footage of the lantern parade, entertainment, and the fireworks. The atmosphere was electric, and the town really turned out in force to support this fantastic free event.

The success of 2017’s Tide of Light was enormous with over 40,000 people in attendance – that’s a massive 10,000 more than 2016! The beach was covered in people for two miles in each direction, all gathered to watch the fireworks set off from the end of the pier. Our comprehensive website and social media posts kept visitors fully informed and up-to-date about what was happening, and contributed to the huge turnout on the night.

Tide of Light is by far the biggest and most inclusive festival in Worthing, and the way it brings our community together is truly inspiring. We’re proud to have been part of this year’s party, and we very much hope to support 2018’s event too.

Glowing praise…