WISBECH: Festival organisers claim council wanted to charge too much for park use

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:08 02 June 2010

ORGANISERS of a new two-day festival for Wisbech had to scrap plans to hold the event in the town park, because they claimed Fenland District Council wanted to charge them too much rent. So instead, Wisbech Town Festival will be staged on Saturday and Sun

ORGANISERS of a new two-day festival for Wisbech had to scrap plans to hold the event in the town park, because they claimed Fenland District Council wanted to charge them too much rent.

So instead, Wisbech Town Festival will be staged on Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2, at the Thomas Clarkson Community College.

"Fenland District Council charges were very steep, we just couldn't afford them," said Wisbech Town Council clerk Erbie Murat.

"The council would have charged us £1,000 and more, if there were less than 5,000 visitors, and the charges would have risen to £1,500 a day if there were more visitors. "We did not want that uncertainty; we needed to know exactly what everything would cost. Our total budget is £5,000; performers are only being paid their expenses.

"Thomas Clarkson College has charged us much less, they have been very generous, they recognise this is something valuable for the community."

A spokesman for Fenland council said: "Fenland has a basic set of charges to fit different types of events, but we are always happy to look at individual cases and take particular circumstances into account.

"We were surprised that the organisers decided to find an alternative venue for this festival without referring back to FDC. If they had come back to us, we would certainly have been prepared to listen and see what we could do to help."

The first day of the festival will be a live rock band day, with top local bands accompanied by dancers, and a showcase of musical jamming sessions.

"The event is a tri-partite partnership, between Wisbech Town Council, Wisbech Youth Council and the Thomas Clarkson Community College," said Mr Murat.

Over the two days of the festival an arts exhibition will be staged in the college, and there will be trampolines and a bouncy castle.

On the second day, Chatteris Town Band starts the multi-cultural entertainment at 11am. Country music, blues, Flamenco and Polish dancing will all take to the stage through the day.

For more information about the festival, contact Erbie Murat 01945 461333, or e-mail:wisbechtc@aol.com.


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