Newark Festival will be held again next year but the date will be changed in a bid to attract more people.
THE crowds at this year’s Newark Festival.
A budget of £70,000 has been approved by the town council.
It will be held at Riverside Park in mid-June instead of at the end of August.
Town councillors agreed the event should incorporate Newark Carnival and a Beer and Wine Festival.
The big Saturday night concert at this year’s festival was attended by 2,500 people — short of what had been hoped for — leading to a loss of around £16,000.
A working party that discussed the festival was told it had suffered through competition with other events including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games and Paralympics and European football championships.
It was also hit by poor weather.
It was felt August Bank Holiday was not an ideal time to hold it because of clashes with other, bigger festivals such as Leeds and Reading.
The town clerk, Mr Alan Mellor, said it had been identified that June would be a better date for the 2013 festival and the Riverside Park had been reserved for the council from June 8 to 17.
He said the carnival committee had been asked to consider being part of the festival.
Mr Tony Roberts said if the festival went over budget again next year they would be looking at a significant sum being spent on a musical festival.
The chairman of the environment and leisure committee, Mr Dennis Jones, said the overspend was due to a shortfall in ticket sales for the Saturday concert.
He said they had learned lessons from this year’s event and hoped they could be used to improve the 2013 festival.
He said: “We are hoping to have a line-up that people will want to support.
“I thought we had a very good line-up this year and I was disappointed that it was not supported as well as we hoped.”
The council leader, Mrs Gill Dawn, said while mistakes had been made it was time to move on.
Mr Stuart Wallace questioned what the objective of the festival was and who they were trying to target.
He said council taxpayers in Newark were having to underwrite the cost of the event and he felt they should benefit in some way.
Mr Bob Crowe was concerned about the idea of holding the beer and wine festival in conjunction with the festival and doubted whether wine growers from Newark’s German twin-town Emmendingen would want to take part.
Mr David Lloyd said it would be better not to have all the events crammed into one weekend and he would prefer to see them spread across the year to bring more benefit to retailers.