Gaia exhibit attracts nearly 13,000 visitors to see display at The Apex

The Gaia earth exhibit at The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, held to support the town centre economy and encourage people to think about the environment, saw nearly 13,000 visitors.

Gaia features detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface and provides the opportunity to see our planet as if from space. A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture.

The exhibition ran from October 3 through to Sunday, October 18, with 12,898 visitors attending during that time. It is the first event that The Apex, run by West Suffolk Council, has held there since lockdown. Social distancing measures were in place and people had to book time slots to go see Gaia. Of those attending, 1,753 were first time bookers to The Apex.

Following the success of Gaia, The Apex management is currently looking to introduce a series of reduced capacity live shows.  As with Gaia, customer and staff safety remains paramount.

A concert with Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe will go ahead on Wednesday, November 25. So that The Apex remains a safe place to visit, social distancing measures will mean that capacity will be significantly reduced. There will, however, be a matinee performance in addition to the evening concert.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are delighted to have been the first venue in the East of England to host Gaia and we are not surprised that it has been so popular. Indeed, without the need for Covid-19 restrictions, I am sure we would have been able to welcome many more people to this inspiring and thought-provoking display.

“Part of the purpose of the exhibition was to challenge people to think even more about how we can all work together to protect this beautiful area and the planet we share. The council had displays up with information about some of our own work to protect the environment and tackle climate change but of course, it is only by working together that real change can be made.

“The other aim has been about The Apex as a venue, attracting people into the town centre – something it has always done – so that visitors might then also support our town centre businesses. We have received some fantastic praise about Gaia and we look forward to welcoming people to future shows and events while ensuring Covid-19 safety measures remain in place.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, said: “This has helped businesses during this time of recovery and shows the importance of a cultural venue such as The Apex as a town centre attraction.”

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