Popular bandstand events could be under threat, email reveals

THE future of summer weekend concerts at the bandstand in Southsea could be under threat.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:21 am
A concert at the bandstand in Southsea Picture: Joseph Sheridan

An email was sent to promoters in the city this week telling them that from this summer forward they would be responsible for all the costs associated with putting on events at the bandstand field on Saturdays.

These costs have previously been carried by Portsmouth City Council.

Promoters have said that the move would effectively kill off the free events.

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But when contacted by The News, Cllr Lynda Symes, in charge of cultural matters at the council, claimed that the email had been sent out in error, and no decision had been made on the future of the bandstand events.

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: ‘This email came out of the blue.

‘It would be a great shame if they were stop – they’ve been going a long time. But if this was to come in then we couldn’t afford to put them on.

‘There’s never been any trouble at any of them, just lots of people having a good time.

‘I’ve spoken with the council though and understand though that nothing has been decided yet.

‘I would just like to make sure that the future of the Saturday events is safeguarded. Costs for putting on an event could run into the hundreds as it would include renting the site as well as security, infratructure, generators and so on.’

Cllr Symes said: ‘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.’