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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
High costs cancel music festival
SevernFest performers - picture courtesy of SevernFest
Organisers say the cancellation is temporary
Spiralling costs and increasing red tape has forced organisers of a music and arts festival in Powys to cancel the event this year.

Those behind Newtown's SevernFest said it was looking at different ways of funding it in the future.

Staged over a weekend at the beginning of June, it has attracted hundreds of people to the town since 1997.

Newtown's mayor said he was "disappointed" and gave an offer of help to the festival.

The event, known previously as the Newtown May Festival, has had an uncertain few years.

The dates of the event were recently altered from May to June to coincide with Newtown Carnival and Food Festival, and last year the festival was re-named SevernFest.

We must stress that the event is not being cancelled permanently
SevernFest director Peter Stanley

Director Peter Stanley said: "Despite strong community support, rising costs and the ever increasing attention required to health and safety requirements have meant that in the future additional income will be needed to fund future festivals.

"Various avenues are being pursued, but for this year a rest for the events is required."

Organisers stressed the cancellation was temporary, but have not said when it would be held again.

He added: "NSF (Newtown SevernFest) has tried their best to increase income from grants and other sources and to keep costs to a minimum, and many people have worked hard on a voluntary basis.


Mr Stanley said insurance costs for the festival had risen 300%. "It's not because the event has grown it's because the perceived risk of the event has grown."

Newtown mayor Les Skilton said he and his town council colleagues were disappointed.

"It's a shame SevernFest has been cancelled this year," he said. "The organisers came to council recently to tell us.

"We are disappointed, but the organisers must make sure they revive it next year - it's too valuable to the town to lose. If they come to us for help we will see what we can do."

Coun Skilton said SevernFest attracted hundreds of people to Newtown.

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