The cost of hosting the BBC’s Biggest Weekend was revealed by Perth and Kinross Council this week.
The local authority forked out more than £140,700 for the Scone Palace extravaganza in May, which featured headline sets from Noel Gallagher and Nigel Kennedy.
The money paid for pedestrian stuff like litter pick-ups and traffic management rather than brown M&Ms or Stone Henge replicas, and it was a huge chunk of the council’s events budget.
On paper, it seems like an awful lot of taxpayer cash to spend on one weekend, particularly given that the council didn’t make any money back from ticket sales.
Council spending is always going to be a contentious issue, especially at a time when groups are still reeling from budget cutbacks.
But in this case, it was money well spent.
Number crunchers calculated that the Biggest Weekend – one of four huge festivals taking place simultaneously around the UK – brought in about £3 million for the local economy.
And the TV coverage, particularly given the unusually hot weather – “Has Scotland ever been as hot as this?” quipped Noel Gallagher during his set – was advertising that money couldn’t buy.
Yes, £140,700 could have paid for (nearly) four teachers for a year. Or several lollipop people. Or, of course, to fix some damn pot holes.
But it’s also (nearly) the same amount that Perth and Kinross Council is paying to a company to design and make stickers to go on the side of our wheelie bins.
The benefits from the festival, which kicked off a summer of events worth nearly £10 million, were widespread and the authority was right to welcome the BBC with open arms.
Regardless of your politics, the council has proved time and time again that it knows how to throw a party.
For example, the Christmas lights events got off to a shaky start a few years ago with a lacklustre performance from a reality TV star – Mark something – which cost us £7,000 for his performance fee.
But since then, the seasonal events have grown and grown, proving more popular with crowds and bringing more and more visitors from across the country.
And now that it has proved itself, the council needs to be less coy and more transparent with its spending.