Fun, family and folk music for new Wimborne festival
ORGANISATIONS in Wimborne are determined that the town will have a folk festival next year.
Within a few hours of the announcement in August that organisers of the event - Brian and Maria Bisp and Les and Linda Wild - were to retire, the district council, the Allendale Centre and Wimborne Bid said they hoped the festival would continue, albeit in a modified format.
And on Tuesday those groups, together with local businesses and residents came together to discuss ways of taking a Wimborne festival forward.
For 32 years, the event brought national and international musicians and dancers to the town and attracted thousands of visitors. However, late night vandalism has concerned residents and businesses.
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Opening the meeting, Matti Raudsepp, head of leisure and open spaces at East Dorset District Council said: "The council wants to work with interested people and our job is to facilitate an event, not to commission one."
The meeting was divided into several discussion groups and the feedback produced common comments and ideals.
It was agreed the festival had raised the profile of the town, enabled charities to raise substantial funds, boosted some businesses, provided a showcase for dancers and musicians and generally produced feel good entertainment for thousands of people.
On the downside, it was felt the town became a different place on the Friday and Saturday evenings, with a perception of drunken young people although the police representative said anti social behaviour was in a minority. The music in the pubs had moved away from folk.
It was also pointed out that many of the Wimborne shopkeepers felt stallholders from out of town were unfair competition.
The consensus of opinion was that a new festival should be family based, self financing and fun, involving more local businesses and all age groups. Its scope could be widened to include a greater range of arts and more use made of Redcotts recreation ground.
A committee is to be formed to progress ideas.
In the meantime, the Stour and Avon Magazine is setting up a Festival Forum and we welcome your ideas and comments.
We would particularly like to hear from young people aged 13-18, as the meeting felt it would particularly like to engage that age group in discussions.
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org