Future of Royston Arts Festival under threat

PUBLISHED: 09:50 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 11 May 2010

THE 2010 Royston Arts Festival could be axed unless new volunteers come forward to run the event. More than 30 local organisations took part in the highly successful 2009 festival, but organisers are looking to elect a new management committee to take the

THE 2010 Royston Arts Festival could be axed unless new volunteers come forward to run the event.

More than 30 local organisations took part in the highly successful 2009 festival, but organisers are looking to elect a new management committee to take the project forward in 2010.

A spokesman for the group said: "The Official Town Guide recognises it [The Arts Festival] as 'a landmark event in the town's calendar' but without more active support there is the very real possibility that there will be no festival in 2010. It would be a shame to let this happen when feedback from 2009 was so good.

"These are exciting times for Royston Arts Festival. It has grown organically and is now at a stage in its history where it needs to take stock and plan the way ahead," he said.

Sculptor Paul Bainbridge enjoyed a residency in an empty shop in Royston High Street as part of the 2009 festival, allowing visitors to drop in and see him at work.

He said: "It would be a real shame if it doesn't go ahead this year because it's such a positive event for the whole town. I'm sure there must be more people out there wanting to get involved.

"For me personally last year's festival was a great experience, and I would like to be there again this year if it goes ahead."

Royston Arts Festival was revived three years ago by a small group of volunteers led by Kathy Wholley.

A celebration of the success of the 2009 festival is taking place at the Old Bull Inn on January 20, and it is hoped that a new management committee will be elected then.

In particular, a new treasurer is being sought, while the organisers are also calling for people between the ages of 18 - 35 to give their time to help focus its young adult events. All posts are voluntary and for a single year, running up to the festival. For more information, or to volunteer your services, email info@roystonartsfest.org.

The 2009 Arts Festival was nominated for it's 'outstanding contribution to the community' at the Royston and District Business Awards, and the celebration evening will also be a chance to relive some of the best bits from last year, including the Royston Photographic Society's "Face of Royston" project, while there will be live music and a display from the Royston Arts Society.

To reserve your place call 01763 223805.

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