Festival scrapped

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Spiralling costs have led to a festival, organised to raise money for charity and bring people together, being cancelled with just days to go.

The Sudbury Community Festival, which was due to take place at the Delphi Centre on Monday, has been pulled due to rising costs.

Organiser Richard Hibbert said the team in charge of the festival was “devastated” that it would not go ahead as planned, following months of preparation.

He said it was discovered last week that the inaugural festival would need eight security staff and an ambulance in order to meet licensing rules, but the budget would not stretch.

“It would have been an extra £1,000 and it would have been too hard to find that money,” said Mr Hibbert, who runs Kitchen Showrooms in Church Field Road.

“It was a hard decision, but it was one we had to make.”

It was hoped around 3,000 people would attend the festival, which would have included a celebrity football match between a Sudbury XI and the UK3Lions. Money from the event would have been split between a number of Sudbury charities.

Mr Hibbert said a couple of sponsors had also let the organising team down at the last minute and ticket sales had not been as high as anticipated.

“If the weather was dark and gloomy, we would have been looking at a shortfall,” he said.

“Tickets sales have not been massive, but I have spoken to organisers of similar events and they said a lot of people tend to turn up on the day.

“If we were sold out, we probably could have covered the costs and just not made any money.”

A range of food and drink stalls had been lined up to attend the festival, while live performances from a number of bands and singers had been planned. A children’s football coaching session with ex-Ipswich Town defender Fabian Wilnis was also scheduled.

Mr Hibbert said despite the disappointment, he had not given up hope of rescheduling the festival for later in the summer or some time next year.

“We are determined to rise from the ashes,” he said.

“Lots of people involved have said they will back us and we will come back again. It would have been a great event and we thought this was the right date to start what could become an annual festival, but it will happen.”

Mr Hibbert added that any sponsors, stall holders or tickets buyers would be given a full refund.