The successful ‘Reclaim the Night’ event cost the Union £7,000, figures obtained by The Mancunion show.
This means that the event cost £1,200 more than the £5,800 ‘maximum amount’ originally proposed for the event.
‘Maximum’ figures seek to evaluate the risk posed by an event to the Union finances if no sales – in this case, t-shirts and tickets – are made.
A new, higher ‘maximum amount’ of £8,000 was requested in the Executive meeting on the 18th February, just three days before the march was set to take place.
Women’s Officer Tabz O’Brien-Butcher, who organised the Reclaim the Night march, cited “costs that had not been taken into consideration” as the reason for the budget rise.
The largest contributing factor to the cost was the road closures and police presence at the event – just over £3,700 was spent to close part of Oxford Road and have two officers present at the march.
“Obviously, organizing an event of this scale has cost implications,” explained O’Brien-Butcher.
“The largest cost incurred was traffic management and ensuring participant safety, which should be a key priority for any large scale event such as this.”
The statistics also show that artist fees for the after-march party cost £1,770.
The headline act was former Manchester-born X Factor contestant Misha B.
“Bringing Misha B in brought a whole new demographic to the event,” said O’Brien-Butcher.
“It opened the march up beyond feminist campaigners, and ensured that the awesome vibes of the march continued late into the evening.”
Overall, says O’Brien-Butcher, the figures show “not even half of the picture”.
“Reclaim the Night has never been envisaged as a for profit event”, she said.
“From thousands of pounds worth of press coverage, national exposure for the union and the impact the march had on students and the local community […] I’m very proud of the event we delivered.”