a POPULAR music festival in Belper is threatened with being cancelled this year because the organisers cannot find a venue.
The Belper Music Festival, which attracts 500 revellers every year, has been held at the town’s rugby club since its inception in 2005.
But the club cannot host this year’s event due to financial constraints. It is pencilled in for July 1, 2, and and now leaves the organisers with a frantic search on their hands to find somewhere else.
They are now appealing for anyone who can help to come forward.
Tim Cox, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “When we were told we couldn’t have it at the rugby club, we were six months into 12 months of organising.
“We start planning for the next year’s festival as soon as the current one is finished.
“This is our seventh year and hopefully we will be able to relocate it.
“From a personal point of view it would be very disappointing if we couldn’t. But a lot of other people would be let down as well.
“A lot of people have put a lot of work in. They have been booking bands and booking equipment such as marquees, toilets and fencing.
“It is in the lap of the gods really. Unless we get something organised we would have to pull the plug. We have booked bands already, and they will need paying whether they play or not.
“Basically, everything is in place except the venue!
“We want it to be in Belper, or as close to Belper as possible. It would be pointless having a Belper event in somewhere like Buxton.”
The popular festival welcomes a mixture of music. “We have folk rock, choirs, and even medieval singing,” said Tim. “It’s a complete mix and match.”
Simon Blount, the president of the rugby club, said it was concerns about the financial outlay.
He said: “It is the financial situation of the club. The weather in December meant we had to cancel all our parties and matches. There was no income whatsoever for December and historically that is our best month.
“There is no money available to be able to do certain things, and unfortunately the music festival is one of them.
“The festival is always a risk for us with the weather. We have a large outlay on it with things such as a real ale bar. The club cannot take the chance. If the weather was bad and people didn’t turn up then the club could go bankrupt.”
If you can help the festival organisers with a new venue, contact Tim on 01773 829 317. For more information on the festival, visit www.belpermusicfestival.org.uk.