Streetfest plea for help 'ignored'
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2010
UNDER-pressure organisers of a youth dance festival in Weston say their pleas for financial help have been ignored by district leaders.
The people behind Streetfest say they are now turning to national companies for sponsorship as part of a last-ditch attempt to keep the popular annual event alive.
It comes after director Steve Young said he received no replies to an email sent to some North Somerset Council executive members and town councillors on September 24, requesting help to run the event.
Mr Young is trying to plug a funding shortfall running into several thousands of pounds to save an event left in the lurch by the Government’s axing of the Find Your Talent funding programme.
The campaign for cash has been backed by a Facebook group with more than 550 members, including council leader Nigel Ashton.
But the leader and 10 other councillors have been accused of failing to respond to an email sent by Mr Young last month calling for support.
Mr Young said: “It’s not very nice being ignored when trying to bring something which will benefit the town.
“Just out of politeness it would have been good to get a response saying it was a good event and assessing the chances of us getting support, but nothing.
“Without the councillors’ support the whole event is dead unless we get some support from national companies such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull I have written to.”
This year, the three-day event, which took place on the Beach Lawns, attracted an attendance of 12,000 people, confirming it as one of the biggest dance events in the South West.
Among the highlights was an opening parade by more than 500 children, the appearance of well-known troop Nemesis and a dance competition.
But following the loss of Find Your Talent, organisers made an urgent appeal last month for support to help pay for the event, which would cost in the region of £25,000.
Mr Young said: “Streetfest was a massive event for the town, and its loss will only mark a blow for so many youngsters.
“I don’t see how such a gap can be filled and I feel sorry for so many people who have been involved in the event over the past two years.”
A North Somerset Council spokesman said discussions had been held about funding for the event and leader Nigel Ashton was planning to reply to Mr Young through Facebook.
The spokesman added a meeting had taken place with Councillor Felicity Baker, but Mr Young said that happened before the 2010 event.