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STATEMENT REGARDING HULL SHANTY FESTIVAL 2012.

Background . . . . . .

The last “Sea Fever” festival (Number 21) was held in July2010.  The City Council Events Team subsequently decided to “pull the plug” on “Sea Fever” due to financial constraints.  
A group of Pub licensees led by Pete Smith of “Ruscadors” formed a group in 2011 to keep a maritime event alive in the Marina / Fruit Market / Queen Street area of the City.  They invited Mick and myself to participate and organise the shanty singing.
At the start of this small but successful "Hull Shanty Festival", held in July last year, the Leader of the Council (Steve Brady) gave an interview in the free paper. In this interview he promised to restore the event to its' former status.  At a meeting earlier this year he promised Hull Shanty Festival an increased budget which would have enabled us to produce a much enhanced event for 2012.

What’s happened . . . . .

This all turned to ashes in our mouths when we were subsequently told that the budget would have to be shared with a company who wished to run a "Hull Folk Festival" but had no money. The City wanted to do this in conjunction with the maritime event. The H.S.F committee were very disappointed at this news but nevertheless resolved to see if this scheme was in any way viable.

Both Mick and myself are well aware that in these difficult economic times, economies have to be made and the City has to ensure maximum value for every pound spent.  We therefore met the third party along with Pete Smith, (chairman of “Hull Shanty Festival”) to see if there was any possibility of productive co-operation to produce a joint Maritime / Folk event.  The agreed outcome the meeting was that co-operation might be possible in principle, but only if further money was available.  Both parties were agreed that whilst synergies could be found in the provision of festival infrastructure, the existing budget promised to HSF was insufficient to fund a credible artiste line-up for a double-focus event.  
This joint position was communicated to City by the Third Party.

We (Pete & Mick) then spent some considerable time in debate and research because, as a result of the joint meeting we had our own doubts as to the viability of the “Folk Festival” plan and also the likelihood of the third party being able to deliver it.  

The City then came back with a negative response on increased funding and also making even the existing funding conditional on a “Joint event”.

Regretfully our conclusion was that - in our view and experience - the proposal was not viable on a "half budget" and would only result in a dilution of what the Council were trying to achieve.
This was communicated to the City Events team on 31st March and we have had no response

I am sorry that it has come to this but we have regretfully withdrawn our support for and association with the event.
We know that we could have produced a good Maritime Festival but giving half the budget to an unknown and untried enterprise was really the last straw.

Regards and best wishes.


Pete Hayselden & Mick McGarry

18th April 2012


 
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