The future of Huddersfield’s popular Food and Drink Festival which was threatened by financial difficulties looks to be assured after another highly successful event.
Directors of Huddersfield Live, the not-for-profit events firm which staged the four day festival, say they are delighted by the public’s response with tens of thousands of people flocking to the event in St George’s Square.
The festival, which last year drew more than 110,000 people to sample a wide range of culinary delights, had been threatened with the axe due to the £145,000 annual cost of staging it.
One director, marketing guru Nadio Granata, said traders’ takings were high and he had already been asked by some of them if they could book stalls for next year.
And even the closure of Huddersfield Rail Station over Saturday and Sunday appeared not to dent the volume of festival-goers with organisers confident the footfall would match last year’s record numbers.
Nadio said: “It’s been a great success. We measure success on the size of the crowds and the indications are that it been as big as ever if not bigger.
“And the traders have told us that it’s been extremely well organised and that their takings are, in the main, as good if not better than expected.
“I’ve also had enquiries from traders who want to reserve their places for next year and we are hoping to help that along.
“And we’ve not noticed any significant detriment from the closure of the rail station. In fact its closure meant we were able to utilise the steps for people to sit on and eat and drink. We should break even or even make a small profit which will be reinvested in next year’s festival.”
But he admitted that yet again the festival’s success was helped by an “enormous slice of luck” – the good weather with families and revellers enjoying the sunshine.
He said, that as a new team responsible for organising the festival, this year was all about consolidation and that next year would bring some changes as the festival evolves.
One of the traders, Ian Armitage of Armitage Bridge Monkey Club, said takings had been excellent with more than 60 barrels of ale sold - that’s more than 4,200 pints.
Festival director Sam Watts added: “I’m delighted with how things have gone. Jamie Waters who runs Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival, has run this one for the first time and it has all gone very well.”
She said she was particularly pleased with the success of the rooftop cocktail bar run by Boston Shakers which appeared to have captured people’s imagination and the continued popularity of bands such as Storm, LewRey, contestants from Yorkshire’s Got Talent and The Monotones.