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Newark Festival funding is being reviewed after poor attendance

By Rachel Armitage

Financial backing of Newark Festival from the public purse is being reviewed.

Newark Town Council is considering withdrawing their £60,000 contribution due to poor attendance, particularly on the free Sunday family fun day, and concerns were also raised that the prices were expensive for the calibre of acts who performed.

The Town Council dedicates £15,000 to the cost of entertainers on the Sunday, with the remaining £45,000 to support Friday and Saturday events and pay for the infrastructure to remain in place for the Sunday.


This year’s festival saw dance hit-makers Sigma and Becky Hill perform on Friday, with Razorlight, The Feeling, and Lightning Seeds on Saturday.

Mr Alan Mellor, town clerk, said: “The Town Council has agreed to undertake a review of the Newark Festival. In its current form, the Festival has been going for some seven years following its re-introduction in 2012.

“Town Councillors have raised concerns about the ‘Free Family Fun Day’, which is held on the Sunday of the festival weekend, and whether or not this represents good value for money. They wish to examine how the money spent on this event could be better used to support other events in the town.

Sigma on stage at Newark Festival (12381724)
Sigma on stage at Newark Festival (12381724)

“They also wish to undertake a review of the Friday and Saturday night concerts, which will then enable them to consider the level of support that they wish to provide in the longer term.”

Speaking at the council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting, councillors discussed the possibility of holding their own event in the future, with the involvement of local schools, charities, bands, and vendors to boost the town’s economy.

The Liz Hobbs Group, who organises the festival, were contacted for comment.


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