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Newark Festival : Event attracted thousands but failed to make profit

Crowds at Newark Festival on the Saturday night. 170717DC1-16
Crowds at Newark Festival on the Saturday night. 170717DC1-16

This year’s Newark Festival failed to make a profit despite being described as the best so far.

Town councillors were told by the clerk, Mr Alan Mellor, that lower attendances resulted in an increase in the financial deficit, but how much wasn’t revealed.

Mr Mellor’s report said the financial risk associated with ticket sales was borne by organisers and promoters LHG Live.

“Apart from the disappointing financial outcome, from my perspective, I think it was the best festival that has been staged so far,” Mr Mellor said in his report.

“There were almost no complaints about the weekend and many complimentary messages.”

Mr Mellor reported to the policy and finance committee that just over 1,000 people attended the Friday night tribute night on June 16, and 4,500 attended the Saturday 1980s night, headlined by UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue.

On stage at the 2017 Newark Festival were UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. Performing with them was Ali’s daughter, Kaya
On stage at the 2017 Newark Festival were UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. Performing with them was Ali’s daughter, Kaya

It was reported that the council-run free family fun day on the Sunday was not as well supported as in previous years, partly because of the very hot weather.

Mr Mellor reported: “The entertainment was very well received from the audiences who did attend.”

The festival layout changes were said to have worked well.

The stage was moved from the Trent Bridge end of Riverside Park to the Town Lock end. Access to toilets, bars and food outlets was also improved.

Councillors were told that plans for the 2018 festival, due to be held on June 15-17, were well advanced.

The line-ups for the Friday and Saturday nights are nearly complete and will be announced no later than the Christmas lights switch on, which takes place on Sunday, November 26.

The Friday will again feature tribute bands and the Saturday will be an 80s night.

The free family fun day will return on the Sunday.

Next year’s festival will be the final one under the current contract with LHG Live.

Talks have been held to review the arrangements, and a report will be submitted to the committee next year to consider the festival going forward.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day will return to Newark Market Place next year with the preferred date of Sunday, June 24 — the week after the festival.

This is a week before the national Armed Forces Day commemorations.

The move from Sconce and Devon Park to the Market Place was deemed a success, helping to attract more people.

The event was a collaboration between the town council and an Armed Forces Day group.

There was a parade of serving and retired Forces’ personnel, a craft and militaria market, military displays and entertainment.

All of the direct expenditure incurred by the town council was met by two grants — one from the National Armed Forces Day fund and the other from Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Mr Mellor warned that those grants may not be available again.

The wine growers of Stadt Band from Newark’s twin-town of Emmendingen, Germany, are interested in returning to Newark and could be in town the same weekend as Armed Forces Day.


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