Friday, May 24, 2024

Cultural desert?…as now Village Beach is cancelled

Village Beach 2016

METAL, the organisers of Village Beach as well as a host of culturally enriching events across the region, have announced that the popular Village Beach will not be running in 2017.

The two day extravaganza attracted thousands to the Grays Beach Park area with acts as varied as top reggae band Dreadzone to a Rajastan travelling band.

Having said that, many locals (and YT readers) preferred T-Fest, which had more acts known through popular television.

A spokesperson for Village Beach put a message on social media. They said: “You may have heard by now that it is very unlikely that there will be a Village Beach and Village Beach: Next Generation this year in Grays Riverside Park.

“As we’re sure you are aware, money is tight for many and we have been unable to secure enough funds for the festivals to go ahead.

“Metal would like to thank all of you – artists, audiences, community groups, schools and other organisations who came together to put on a fantastic event over the last two years.

“We really enjoyed meeting and working with you and are very proud of what we collectively achieved”.

Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Sue Macpherson, said: “I have seen the recent statement from Metal, explaining that ‘Money is tight for many’ and that funding this year hasn’t be secured for Village Beach 2017.

“The council has been working with Metal since last year to explore alternative funding options, but recognises that a large portion of the money came from the Local Authority.

“Funding a culture festival, especially such a well-regarded one, is difficult when we are facing such challenging decisions across the council. It would have been an easier decision to make if it was poorly attended or not as popular – but that is not the case.

“This decision is no way a reflection of our commitment to support the cultural sector. We support initiatives such as the Kinetika’s Silk River project, Thurrock Museum Volunteers project and we are working with Metal on Love Grays.

“Thurrock Council is working with partners on a borough-wide Cultural Strategy incorporating arts and heritage – to develop a strong and shared vision for the whole borough. As part of developing the strategy, we will be engaging with residents and the small – but important – local clubs and groups who support the arts and our heritage.”

Here is our film of last year’s Village Beach.

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