Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Festival needs you!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 11:53 am.

Festival chair, Ian Cunningham with Westbury mayor Gordon King and Festival committee members

LAST year’s tenth Westbury Festival had been hailed a success by the festival’s committee – but the hunt is now on to find help and support for this year’s event.

The two-week festival, which featured over 70 events, including headliners The Bachelors – Con & Dec, saw record audiences packing out venues across the town.

Festival chair Ian Cunningham said, “Westbury Festival recently held its AGM at the Laverton. Those meeting felt that the 2017 festival was a success in several key areas. Attendance was high at nearly all events – with several ‘sell- outs’ on both paid and free events. The quality of events was judged high in feedback. More groups within the town were involved. More money was raised by partner groups for charities and voluntary work. More people were engaged in some way.

“The committee is now looking for more support to make this year’s festival even better.

“As part of our review we have recognised (as we do every year) that the committee is overworked and that we need a wider range of skills. So we are still looking for more committee members or people who may not have time for a full committee role but may have time with a specific skill that they might lend to the effort; roles range from publicity like social media, through to putting up posters. Contact secretary@westburyfestival.org.uk  if you are interested in helping us.

“We also hope to continue to work with partner groups. Briefly our offer to non-commercial groups is that your event (where relevant, not a duplicate and fitting to the programme) can become part of the festival. The festival will promote your event on our website, in our brochure and on our flyers, and sell tickets (where needed) etc. In return you will host and run the event providing content, volunteers etc. and adding your own promotion.

“Typically, we make no charge but would ask those who are successful to consider a donation. We are also happy to talk to commercial partners, but this needs to be on a more formal basis.

“Financially speaking, the festival is in good shape which means we can begin to plan this year’s festival earlier. However, the majority of our income is from sponsorship and most of our events last year were free, so we still need support from generous sponsors.

“At the beginning of last year, we recognised that we would need to spend more money to raise the standards at the festival and this was recognised by our new principal sponsor, Westbury Town Council, supported by our continuing festival sponsors, The Hills Group and Elkins Ford.

“Haine and Smith opticians and Southern Cooperative funeral care also sponsored individual more expensive events and many companies paid for adverts in our brochure to offset costs. We also had a number of generous individuals who gave money as friends of the festival and we would be delighted to welcome more such contributions.

“This year we’re hoping that we may be able to run an event or two during the year before the full festival period – look out for announcements

“Finally, the committee would like to pass on its thanks to all the performers (many of whom appear free of charge), all sponsors, all the volunteers, all the many who helped with venues, events, displays of publicity and everyone who came to an event to celebrate Westbury. We look forward to seeing old and new friends at our events during 2018.

“Westbury Festival is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by unpaid volunteers with the aim of encouraging community engagement, development of arts of all kinds and increasing pride in our town. We are always happy to hear from anyone who would like to help us.

“A vote of thanks was recorded for the hard-working committee members Mike Pearce, Christine Jenkins, Brenda Pyne, Beth Thomas, Ward Jones, Jane Russ, Mary Pyne, Warren Harding and Radek Evans.”

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