February 16, 2009
Festival Of The Arts finale axed due to donations shortfall
decline in donations has forced organisers of this year's Highbridge
Festival of the Arts to cancel their grand finale show.
The popular festival, which is now in its 62nd year, costs
almost £7,000 to run and organisers say not enough cash
has been collected this year to allow the usual grand finale performance
to be held.
The festival will feature talented youngsters from the age of
three at The Princess in Burnham-On-Sea from March 4th to 14th
- but without the final show.
Festival chairman Anne Bannister told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We
have only just been keeping our head above the parapet and need
to be very careful with our expenses."
have been falling, and the council grant funding has also declined
in recent years. The cost of hiring the grand piano and the Princess
is an absolute fortune, so we had a difficult decision to make."
very sad the finale has had to go - it was a hard decision and
very disappointing but we want to preserve the overall festival."
Entries this year total almost 1,600, which is a slight increase
on last year, with dance again proving the most popular section.
The dance section runs from March 4th to 8th; speech and drama
on March 9th and 10th; vocals on March 11th and 12th; and instrumentals
on March 13th and 14th.
Festival tickets will cost £1 per session or £5 for
the whole festival and a souvenir programme will be available
at £1.50 on the door.
show began in 1948 to get people interested in the arts after
the Second World War. The
first Highbridge Festival Of The Arts was held over a half day
in May 1948 and included classes covering vocal, instrumental
and country dancing. The event quickly became so popular that
classes for adult singing, choirs and instrumentals were added.
And by 1977 the festival had been extended to three weeks with
entries spanning a huge 1,200 classes.
35 years in Highbridge, the event moved to Burnham-On-Sea when
Highbridge's Town Hall was deemed unsafe. Since 1984, the event
has been held in The Princess Hall. Several notable names from
the world of entertainment have begun their careers at the festival,
Daldry and Rupert