Opinion: Groundhog Day for town festivals row

Punks at Nice 'n' Sleazy, one of the events to be hit by council grant proposals.
Punks at Nice 'n' Sleazy, one of the events to be hit by council grant proposals.

Festivals. It feels like we’ve been here before.

That’s because we have.

Almost every year a row breaks out between our local councils and event promoters over grant money. It’s the same questions.

How much should each festival get? Why is that festival getting more than another? Why has this festival been given nothing?

This year, Morecambe Town Council has come up with a solution to all the arguing. Nobody is getting anything.

Instead, subject to final approval, town councillors will pick three festivals to fund and run themselves in 2015.

Is there an element of ‘you can’t please everybody, so we’ll do it ourselves’ behind the council’s plan?

The festival promoters we’ve spoken to believe so.

There is also a political side to consider.

The Morecambe Bay Independents are driving the proposal, while Labour calls the idea ‘disastrous’.

But hang on, isn’t the town council supposed to be non-political? It’s there for the town’s best interests, isn’t it? And we all love festivals, right?

So our columnist David Brayshaw’s suggestion (page 20) seems most reasonable. Let’s get everyone around a table – councillors and festival promoters – and talk this out.

Otherwise it will be Festivals Groundhog Day again next year.

GREG LAMBERT