MAJOR SPONSORS PULL OUT OF MUSIC FESTIVAL EVENT STILL GOES AHEAD
The Indie-Pendence Festival will hit Mitchelstown once again this August bank holiday weekend, despite two major sponsors pulling out of the event. Shane Dunne of the organising committee explained to The Avondhu the festival has had its budget cut in half in recent months.
“In the space of a week in January, we got two phone calls with bad news, the first was from our grant funding agency (Ballyhoura) to say that there was a delay on nationwide LEADER funding for 2008 so there would be no funding available for the festival this year”, Shane said.
“The second was from Budweiser to say that they were pulling out of all small-scale festivals including Mitchelstown, they were happy with how it was being run, it was a decision taken on a national basis so that was that”.
The committee then spent the next couple of months examining various options as to how to go about running a festival without two of the major sponsors.
“Without the grant funding and with Budweiser / Guinness pulling out, we were down somewhere in the region of €50,000, basically half the budget from ’07, it meant we had to look at other options to fund the festival”.
Other suggested options included moving the event to a green field site, incorporating additional stages and a festival bar while charging a nominal fee for entry and a fee for camping.
“We looked at 3 different sites, all within the perimeter of the town, one wasn’t suitable, one won’t be ready in time and the third site after much consultation and deliberation said no, so that just left one option, back to the square”.
Shane added that the decision to get back to the square wasn’t an easy one amongst some of the crew, considering the torrential rain the festival suffered last summer when The Sultans of Ping and The Stone Roses Experience took to the stage on the Saturday of the event.
“After last year, with the rain and the amount of work that everyone put in, some of the crew weren’t too anxious to do it again to be honest. It’s a ridiculous amount of hard work for such a small crew and you take the risk of the weather being bad again and finding yourself in the red come the 4th of August which you still have to go and try to figure out a way to clear.”
The full crew will be on board this year, however.
“The eternal optimists were always on board and the few that had reservations changed their minds quickly enough to be honest once they had a look at the ideas and the proposed budget for 2008”.
All this means that the festival is looking to the people and businesses of Mitchelstown to make the event a success.
“This year the festival will pretty much be 100% funded by the people of the town, we had a meeting last week which some of the publicans attended and they were very positive about the prospects for 2008, they were happy with the acts that are being proposed and with how the budget looks, they need to be happy as they will have to fund half of the budget for the event to go ahead this year.
"The rest of the funding comes from other local sponsors, vendors and of course the buckets over the weekend which the people of the town are always so generous with. We are hoping that once we confirm a line-up, that we may be able to get some additional sponsors on-board which will take the pressure off the amount needed in the buckets in August”.
Next week The Avondhu will have the full line up for this year’s festival that, with many Meteor award winners and nominees on the bill, is shaping up to be the best in the festival’s history. Despite the setbacks, the committee are in the process of putting together yet another free festival that will be the envy of many towns and cities this summer.
Thursday 17th April 6:04pm