Page last updated at 05:40 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 06:40 UK

Organisers cancel Faenol Festival

Faenol festival stage
Organisers say the festival made a 'considerable loss' in 2008

Opera star Bryn Terfel's 10th annual music festival will not be held this year, it has been announced.

The trust running the Faenol Festival in north Wales said it made a "considerable financial loss" in 2008.

However, bass baritone Terfel is hailing a new deal with promoters which will secure the event's future for up to five years.

The singer is promising that the festival will return in 2010 with the "best ever line-up".

"This five-year deal is fantastic news but I am naturally disappointed that we are unable to proceed with this year's event," said Terfel, who is currently on tour in New Zealand.

"I can assure you that it wasn't for the want of trying - in the end we just ran out of time."

The new deal struck by the Faenol Festival trust will see a partnership with Universal Music Classical Management and Productions (UMCMP) and opera promoter, Raymond Gubbay.

A trust spokesman said the agreement meant it was now able to "invest considerable time and money over the next 14 months gearing up and planning for the 2010 August bank holiday festival".

'Credit crunch'

The backing of the music promoters will guarantee the festival for three years, with an option for another two years of partnership until 2014.

Bryn Terfel at Faenol Festival 2008

It is a case of taking one step back so that we can take two huge steps forward and come back with a bang next year
Bryn Terfel

Last year, despite headline acts including Boyzone, Cerys Matthews and John Barrowman, the festival was a victim of the wet weather and credit crunch fears, which the trust said led to "to very disappointing audience attendance figures".

"Faced with similar, ongoing uncertainties this year, the trust believes it will be to everyone's advantage to put the festival on hold for one year in order for it to establish a secure financial footing and enable it to relaunch in 2010 with a stellar list of artists who will appeal to all sections and ages of the public and excite great interest both at home and abroad," a trust spokesperson added.

However, the festival organisers admit that many fans who have flocked to the Faenol estate near Caernarfon over the last decade to see artists like Dame Shirley Bassey, Westlife, and Girls Aloud will be disappointed.

"We regret that we have been unable, until now, to disclose details of any discussions over this year and future years' festivals, until all options - including a festival for this year - had been exhausted".

"It had been hoped a festival might still be possible in 2009 based on financial guarantees and the availability of desired artists but these options are no longer realistic.


"We are working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government to identify future options for this important event and are confident that next year's festival will exceed all audience expectations and mark an exciting new chapter in the history of the Faenol Festival."

Terfel added: "It is a case of taking one step back so that we can take two huge steps forward and come back with a bang next year."

It was revealed last November that the 2009 festival was under threat, when Terfel confirmed he was holding meetings with the assembly government to win financial backing.

The singer told BBC Wales at the time that "it's imperative that we get an influx of money to actually survive".

Responding to the decision to cancel the 2009 festival, an assembly government spokesperson said: "While we understand many of the difficulties faced in what is a very tough economic climate, we are naturally disappointed to hear that the Faenol Trust has decided that the festival will not go ahead this year.

"It is encouraging, however, to see that much of the groundwork for a re-launched festival concept for 2010 and future years is well advanced.

"The Welsh Assembly Government re-affirms its long standing commitment to work with Bryn and the trust in support of efforts to secure a sustainable long term future for the festival."

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