Horncastle’s summer festival has been axed for 2016 but organisers insist it will be back - and will hopefully be bigger and better than ever.
District councillor Sandra Campbell-Wardman - one of the main organisers - has issued an appeal for new committee members to come forward. ahead of the event returning in 2017
Hitting back at critics of the 2015 event, Coun Campbell Wardman, who is vice chairman of the Festival Committee, said anyone with new ideas would be welcome.
This summer’s event was a major disappointment, with poor weather contributing to a significant drop in the attendance.
Some stall holders failed to turn up, while local business owners who had given financial backing complained about the format and the number of attractions.
Coun Campbell-Wardman, speaking at a Town Council meeting, said: “There were a lot of complaints and I’m not looking to make excuses but a lot of the things were completely beyond our control.
“We can’t control the weather. We can’t control when stall-holders turn up.
“You have the same seven or eight people flogging their guts out. All we get is criticism. It’s this constant criticism that gets you. Ok, let other people come forward. Let them have a go.”
She was backed by town councillor Brian Burbidge, who said he had put in more than 300 hours, solely on the health and safety aspect of the event.
He added that an increasing amount of legislation meant it was more expensive to put the festival on, especially as all organisers received was ‘negativity’.
After the town council meeting, Coun Campbell Wardman issued a statement, clarifying the fact that organisers had only called off the 2016 event and their decision did not affect this year’s Christmas Market.
She added: “Many members (of the festival committee) thought it might be a good idea to just do Christmas 2016 and re-group to put on a different summer event in 2017 - and our Christmas Market 2017.
“We are hoping that more people will join the committee and help so that we can continue to put on these two main events for the town. We look forward to any ideas.”
n Coun Fiona Martin, chairman of the festival committee, did not attend the council meeting.
Coun Campbell-Wardman stressed the 2016 Christmas Festival and Market will still go ahead on December 6.
She said that the Christmas event was traditionally more popular than the Summer Festival.
All the indications are that all pitches for stalls will be sold out while the musical entertainment will be headed by the Billinghay Ruffs.
The organising committee is looking for volunteers to help on the day, and with planning and ideas for future Chistmas Festivals.
More details of the event will be announced nearer the date.