An estimated 12,000 people enjoyed the entirety of Rotorua's 2018 Glo Festival, before the crowd rose to 15,000 for the fireworks finale, according to Rotorua Lakes Council estimates.

The whānau-friendly night at the Village Green included a wide range of Rotorua performers of all ages and an outdoor screening of the Oscar-winning kids' movie Coco.

The festival started at 4.30pm with music and food trucks keeping crowds happy until the film at 6pm.

Boost Fundraising and Events managing director Alia Ryan said the kaupapa of Glo was to deliver a safe, free event, and she was pleased with the atmosphere.

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"Overall the feedback has been amazing and extremely positive and there were quite a lot of people who had come from out of town to attend."

Families started arriving about 3.30pm to get a good spot for picnic dinners in the fine weather.

"A big thank-you to everyone who came along to enjoy the night and to everyone who made it such a great success... it was really great to see some of our talented youth up on stage."

Ryan said the crowds were well behaved.

"We're grateful for the excellent job our security staff and police did to keep everyone safe... and deal quickly with any trouble spots, although I'm unaware of any major issues."

There were a couple of changes made to the annual festival this time.

A post-festival survey conducted after the 2017 event found the key reason most people attended was to enjoy family time together.

In previous years there were two fireworks displays, one at 9.30pm and another at midnight.

The short timeframe between displays posed safety risks.

Antisocial behaviour later in the night at the 2017 event also factored into the decision to change the format.