Future of Royston Arts Festival in doubt after committee members step down

PUBLISHED: 08:46 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 25 October 2018

The 2018 Cover Art Competition winners - with artist Stacey Leigh Ross, who designed the cover of the festival programme using the youngsters' creations. Picture: Terry Hartga

The 2018 Cover Art Competition winners - with artist Stacey Leigh Ross, who designed the cover of the festival programme using the youngsters' creations. Picture: Terry Hartga


The future of the biggest event in Royston’s calendar is in doubt, unless more volunteers come forward.

Gog Magog Molly entertains the crowds. Picture: Terry HartgaGog Magog Molly entertains the crowds. Picture: Terry Hartga

Royston Arts Festival has just enjoyed one of its most successful years with more than 4,000 people enjoying a host of events around the town at the end of September.

It is organised by Creative Royston, which is made up entirely of volunteers. Due to various factors, ranging from pressures of work to family commitments, six of the nine-strong committee have decided to stand down – including chairperson of four years Kirsten Grimmer.

“Time and again we’re told by local organisations and members of the public that the Royston Arts Festival is a vital part of the town’s year,” said Kirsten.

“We all want to see the festival continue to thrive, but that will only be possible with a strong team behind it to make it happen.”

Visitors to the Royston Arts Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOOVisitors to the Royston Arts Festival 2018. Picture: DANNY LOO

Creative Royston works with various arts groups and individuals to put together a programme of events. The committee itself organises some of the festival highlights, including the community event in Priory Memorial Gardens and the town-wide MusicFest. They are now in need of a chairperson, vice chair treasurer and others.

Kirsten said: “All the committee members stepping down have dedicated an enormous amount of time to an event that is close to their hearts, and I’d like to thank them personally and on behalf of the committee for their support.

“During my time on the committee it has been a privilege to work with some truly talented volunteers and to see the festival grow.

“I have every faith in the remaining committee members, but without more help they cannot deliver half of what was enjoyed by so many people this year.”

As well as organising the events for the festival, the volunteers also produce a printed programme, and are responsible for working with the festival’s sponsors to secure funding, venues, insurers and the police to ensure events are run safely and in full compliance with laws and regulations.

The committee meets once a month through the year. Members are encouraged to come up with ideas for events, and to work with the rest of the committee and with other groups and individuals in the town to bring those ideas to life.

Experience is not essential, and for some roles – particularly that of treasurer – the work can be done whenever the volunteer has time to spare. Kirsten has said that volunteers with experience of leading small teams or with a background in accounting would be particularly welcomed.

“This is an exciting time to join the committee – new members have a chance to become part of something that is well established, and loved throughout the town,” Kirsten added.

Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact Creative Royston secretary Carl Filby on secretary@creativeroyston.org.

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