Cardiff Christmas market crowds not expected to return to pre-pandemic numbers

The market will go ahead this year, enabling customers to support local artists and craftspeople. However, organisers are being ‘realistic’ about the level of attendance

Cardiff Christmas Market stalls.
Shoppers will be required to wear masks, but social distancing is no longer in place. Picture credit: Jane Hall, Mark Lewis

Cardiff Christmas market will go ahead this year, but organisers do not expect footfall to revert to pre-pandemic numbers due to nervousness around attending busy events.

The outdoor market will return to Cardiff city centre on Thursday 11 November, featuring local artists and independent businesses.

The operations manager, Jane Hall, said that while she is optimistic for a higher attendance of the event than last year, she does not predict a return to normal levels due to continued concern from the public about visiting events during the pandemic.

The market will open as coronavirus cases remain high; 1 in 45 people in Wales are infected with Covid-19, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Organisers are taking precautions to ensure the safety of customers and sellers. Shoppers must wear masks, in line with current rules for non-essential retail.

More stewards have been hired in order to enforce this and could ask clients to leave if they are not wearing a mask, unless they are exempt from doing so.

While the market weathered numerous cancellations from stall-holders last year, interest in selling this year seems to have increased. Jane suspects this is due to people becoming more involved with creative activities during lockdown. She said she was “inundated” with interest from candlemakers this year, a craft that seems to be newly popular.

However, she is being pragmatic about the number of customers she expects.

“We are being realistic. We are not expecting the footfall to revert to that of the Christmas market prior to Covid.

“There is still concern from the public, and not everybody will come out as they usually do. But we are hoping there are more people with the confidence to come into the city centre.”