THE future of summer weekend concerts at the bandstand in Southsea is safe and secure, a councillor has said.
It comes just days after an email blunder by Portsmouth City Council which claimed promoters would have to fork out all the costs associated with putting on events at the bandstand field on Saturdays.
It led to concerns that the move would effectively kill off the free events.
However, last night the council’s culture boss, Councillor Linda Symes, quashed fears and said live music at the bandstand would return this summer.
Cllr Symes said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to offer another summer of free weekend music at the bandstand as it’s so popular with residents and visitors to the city alike.’
Throughout the summer, the bandstand hosts a variety of musical styles, from country to reggae, indie and pop.
The free concerts have proved enormously popular drawing in thousands to enjoy the music in the sun – weather permitting – next to the water.
Nick Courtney, who runs several live music nights around the city and is part of the Victorious Festival team, has been one of the main promoters of events there.
He said the email ‘came out of the blue’ and had led to worry among the event organisers, who immediately approached the council to voice their concern.
Speaking of Cllr Symes’s assurances the bonanza will continue, he said: ‘Absolutely I’m relieved.
‘I didn’t think for one moment there was a problem this year and it seems that we were sent an email that wasn’t meant to be sent.
‘But there’s always concern when people talk about stopping something.’
Cllr Symes explained the email had been sent out in error, and no decision had been made on the future of the bandstand events.
She told The News: ‘That email must have been sent by an overzealous person in the council.
‘I would like to apologise because that email shouldn’t have been sent.
‘This is something that I will be looking at, but no decision has been made yet.’
She added that she would be setting up a meeting with Mr Courtney to discuss the bandstand.
‘That’s not about any kind of exclusivity with him,’ added Cllr Symes, ‘but he does have a good take on what’s going on there, and I know he works closely with the other promoters, so I would like to seek his opinion.’