Gosport waterfront festival scrapped

PERFORMANCE Trex front man Rob Benson blasting out hit after hit at the Gosport Waterfront Festival in 2011
PERFORMANCE Trex front man Rob Benson blasting out hit after hit at the Gosport Waterfront Festival in 2011

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A POPULAR music festival has been cancelled leaving many residents disappointed.

The Gosport Community Waterfront Festival was due to be held in Walpole Park, Gosport, this weekend.

This year would have been the 16th time the festival had been held.

For the first 13 years it was funded by Gosport Borough Council, until it withdrew the funding and the event was taken over by volunteers.

It was the first time that Gosport Community Waterfront Festival Ltd had run the event.

Its directors Lisa Reed, Jeff Reed, Sharon Hall and Mark Quainton-Davis cancelled the event last week.

They were unavailable for comment yesterday when contacted by The News.

A statement on the festival’s website said: ‘We regret to inform you that the Gosport Community Waterfront Festival 2014, a community event run by unpaid volunteers, has been cancelled due to factors outside our control.

‘The issues that have arisen include the last minute withdrawal of sponsors, the breaking of contracts by traders/suppliers and therefore not paying, and only receiving verbal permission for the use of the ground from Gosport Borough Council two weeks before the event.

‘We would like to thank everyone for their support.’

Leader of the council Mark Hook said the council had been nothing but supportive of the festival and it had even waived the fee charged for renting the park.

Cllr Hook said: ‘They should look at themselves and be ashamed for putting a statement like that on their website.

‘The council has kept in contact with the directors and kept them informed every step of the way.

‘We have been supportive of them and we are supportive of any festivals in the town.

‘It is disappointing that the directors have fallen out and decided to pull the plug.’

People in Gosport were upset to hear of the news.

Chairman of Gosport Youth Council Camron Adams, 18, of Mill Lane, said: ‘I’m shocked. The Waterfront Festival is a major part of Gosport and brings a lot of commerce to the area.’

Dave Brockenhurst, 38, of Stoke Road, said: ‘I’m disappointed that the festival has been cancelled. It was a part of Gosport.’

Another festival, GosFest, which is in its second year, is still going ahead. It is due to be held in Walpole Park from Thursday, August 7 until Sunday, August 10.