Festival organisers prepared to risk it all for their love of music

Acoustic Gathering, Peasholm Park. 'pic Andrew Higgins        n Specials/Atex Lifestyle
Acoustic Gathering, Peasholm Park. 'pic Andrew Higgins n Specials/Atex Lifestyle

A group of five music lovers are risking their bank balances in a bid to save one of Scarborough’s top live events after funding was cut.

Organisers of the seventh Acoustic Gathering are determined to keep the festival going at Peasholm Park despite facing soaring costs in the year vital council funds were pulled.

Licensing issues and the extra conditions demanded by the police have left the team with a bill of £13,000 - four times higher than last year.

In an effort to claw back the cost, work is being done for free, sponsorship deals have been struck and an entrance fee will be charged for the first time.

But if the festival isn’t a success, the group could end up in the red and risk losing everything they have worked for.

Operations manager Tom Watton said: “The council has made some choices with funding that has meant there is no money left for anything else. It has been cut at the same point that costs have quadrupled, and like lemmings we have decided to jump off the cliff anyway.

“We have had to pay the deposits for the bands and spend an extra £3,000 on security as a result of the police restrictions, as this year we are taking over the obligation from the council.

“But we are doing this because we love Scarborough, we love the people of Scarborough and we want everyone to have a great time, while celebrating our brilliant local music scene.”

Organisers are putting on a Saturday Spectacular gig, headlined by Britpop stars The Lightning Seeds, in order to subsidise the ticket price of the Sunday event, which will be similar to previous Gatherings.

The entrance fee is £15 for Saturday, September 8, and £5 for the Sunday, when under 12s will be allowed in free. Tickets can be purchased at The Spa pub and Mojos Music Cafe, in Victoria Road, at Westborough’s HMV store, or online at www.acousticgathering.co.uk