Festival at risk after lack of sponsorship

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A POPULAR free music festival in Gosport could be scrapped as organisers still need £20,000 for the show to go ahead.

Earlier this year, Gosport Borough Council pulled the £30,000 in funding for the Waterfront Festival because of government cuts.

A special committee was set up in a bid to raise enough money in sponsorship to allow the Walpole Park festival to continue.

But organisers say they still need around £20,000 – and are pleading with businesses around the area to come forward and pledge their support for the popular event.

Tory councillor Mark Hook, the leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘I can’t put my hand on my heart and say it’s going to go ahead unless we can find the funding to put in place.

‘There is a likelihood that it may not happen but not for the want of trying by my people trying to get the available funding.

‘If there are any businesses that would like to sponsor it I would ask them to contact us.

‘Thousands of people enjoy it and they enjoy it because it’s a free festival.

‘The last thing we would want to do is to make a substantial charge for people to go to it because they enjoy it because it’s free.

‘We have been writing to companies and discussing with national companies to see if they want it named after them.’

Cllr Hook added that no decisions have been made on a possible line-up for the August festival, which last year included Showaddywaddy and Geno Washington and attracted tens of thousands of people.

‘There is no doubt that there will be the normal local showcasing but we don’t know about the big names yet,’ he added.

Cllr Hook said he will meet with the committee next week to discuss the plans further.