Harrogate Informer

Future of StrEat Food Festival under threat unless £30K crowdfunding secured

StrEat Food Harrogate

The organisers of the StrEat Food Festival in Valley Gardens have said it will not go ahead unless they secure £30,000 from a crowdfunding campaign.

The has been a big success for over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August, attracting thousands.

To date it has £199 in pledges with 11 days to reach the target sum.

See the crowdfunding page http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/keep-streat

Organisers say that gate numbers have increased from 110,000 in the first year to 149,000 for the 2nd year in 2017 and that increase creates issues.

The crowdfunding cash would be used to increase security, medical support, insurance, facilities and to generally improve the festival.

Cathy McConaghy of StrEat says that people’s expectations are high.

Cathy McConaghy said:

We can’t keep putting on a festival of this scale and that quality without sponsorship or public contribution. We don’t bring in cheap marquees, the entertainment we have is second to none, we have 17 performers that need accommodation for five nights, we have to feed them, get them there, we hire in the deckchairs, we have to hire in grass protection, we have to hire in traffic management and our electric bill is 20k on its own!

Due to problems on first year of the festival with damage to grass areas, the available space for the festival was reduced.

The organisers charge a pitch fee for each stand at the festival – the more crowds it attracts, the more work it essentially makes for the organisers with no additional financial return.

The for such an event starts months away from it happening and involves dealing with many agencies. Organisers say they are not going to start that unless they can be more certain that it will make a profit in the future.

StrEat run a sister-festival at Newby Hall, charging £25 per day entry. Entry is not charged for the event in Harrogate.

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