Mirfield’s M Fest has been cancelled.
Organiser Donal O’ Driscoll said he was forced to pull the plug for the big two day event planned for June 20 and 21 at Mirfield Showground due to poor ticket sales.
He said he had been left “absolutely gutted” after launching a Crowd Funding project to finance the community event which he was hopeful would be a success.
The news comes after several attempts to make the 7,000 capacity event affordable and attractive to people living in the town and further afield, which included slashing original prices in half following recent fears that not enough people were buying tickets.
Only £5,640 of a £14,000 target was raised by 130 backers who wanted to come see 26 up and coming local acts, all of whom had agreed to play for free, including Ska House, Propane Penny and Twist of Fate. Children’s entertainment, a circus and dance acts were also planned.
If it had gone ahead it would have been the second annual M Fest, following the inaugural event last year.
Donal said: “I suffered a loss putting the event on last year and I looked at the amount raised for this year and knew that I just couldn’t afford another major loss.
“The £14,000 was essential because that’s how much it would have cost to hire stages, PA systems, toilets, security, stewards, first aid etc.
“I’m absolutely gutted to have to pull it and have had a lot of comments from people who are disappointed that it will not go ahead but the fact was that people did not want to give the money up front. Most probably wanted to turn up on the day and pay which would just not have been possible.
“No-one has lost any money because crowd funding doesn’t give me any money until I’ve met my target, which I didn’t, so it has refunded everyone.”
But, undeterred, Donal hopes to put on other similar events with lower overheads this summer and needs the help of local venue owners to do it.
“It’s early days yet but I’ve got two ideas,” he said. “One is to try move the event to a private venue with an outdoor stage in Mirfield.
“I’ve got all the acts booked so it would be such a shame to put it all to waste.
“Of course, it would have a much smaller capacity but my hope is that this will encourage people to book tickets because tickets will go a lot faster.
“I’m also planning to apply for public funding to put on a festival somewhere else in Kirklees in August.
“I can’t say anything more than that now but will be able to reveal more details on June 23, so keep an eye on the M Fest Facebook page.
“I’m just determined to put on a festival because they have such positive psychological effects on those go and I think it’s truly one of the best things you can go to.”
See pictures from last year's event below.