Huddstock Festival set to fold as organisers struggle with massive debts
Aug 14 2009 By Nick Lavigueur
HUDDSTOCK music festival is doomed unless thousands can be found to pay off crippling debts, organisers say.
Now a ‘Save Huddstock’ campaign has been launched after the event promoters revealed they still owe almost £13,000 to various companies, including toilet, staging and fencing contractors.
Organisers of the South Crosland festival found themselves in a financial mess after miserable early June weather put paid to the chances of a bumper crowd.
Tickets were £15 before the event and £20 on the gate and festival founder Lucie Keeton said numbers were two-thirds down on 2008.
Ms Keeton said she was currently negotiating discounts with a number of creditors but needed more help as she worked full time in Manchester and fellow organisers, couple Hannah Scott and Paul Bamforth, were due to have a baby.
She said: “We can’t run another Huddstock until we’ve paid these debts off.
“We do want to do it next year, every year in fact.
“There is the demand for it, we’ve had some amazing feedback from the people who did come.
“The local residents are quite proud of it and there’s nothing else like it round here that supports local bands.
“But at the moment we can’t see it happening next year.”
Ms Keeton said it cost about £35,000 to run the event and they had been expecting more than 2,000 people but only half that amount turned up.
She added: “Considering we had 3,300 last year it wasn’t unreasonable of us to expect that.
“We’ve proved before it’s viable, the first year we donated £2,500 to charity [from our profits].”
Ms Keeton, who works as a marketing manager in Manchester, said if the debts could be paid she would look into securing a contingency fund through grants before running another event.
She also confirmed she would be downsizing the event in a bid to save cash and commented that it was ironic they had got into a financial mess this year as the police had praised them on their organisation for the first time.
The Huddstock Facebook site has now been renamed ‘Huddstock Festival Appeal’ and Ms Keeton said she was desperate for people with fundraising ideas or volunteers to come forward.
Donations will also be gratefully accepted.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Lucie on 07932 569497.