A figure of 150,000 people attending the carnival on Saturday has been widely circulated. The question many will ask is how do we know this is an accurate figure?

Firstly there’s the number of grandstand tickets sold, the numbers of people using the park and ride, the number of coach parties, officials, residents who live on the route and those in the carnival itself. Using the Jacobs Crowd Formula pioneered by the professor of journalism in America there is a way to estimate the numbers in the crowd lining the route. His formula is to allow a yard for each person and times it by the distance and depth.

The streets were line all of the route with crowds on either side ranging from two deep to around 25 deep in places. If you accept the figure of 10 deep then over two and a half miles you get a figure of 88,000 people. Add to those behind the crowds in the pubs and streets, in the Town Hall and other vantage points and those working on the night such as cabbies and drivers and it is realistic to add another 12,000 people or so taking the number to around 100,000. Considering around the centre of town the crowds were up to 25 deep then that could explain the 150,000 figure.