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Oakham Festival is cancelled as organiser steps down

Oakham Festival Arts rural crafts fair at Oakham Castle - Brilliant sunshine attracts visitors
Photo: MSMP300613-176js ENGEMN00120130630165214

Oakham Festival Arts rural crafts fair at Oakham Castle - Brilliant sunshine attracts visitors Photo: MSMP300613-176js ENGEMN00120130630165214

 

One of Rutland’s most popular summer events has been cancelled this year after the organiser decided it was time to step down from her role.

Oakham Festival will not be held this year as Joy Everitt believes it is time for someone younger to come forward with fresh ideas for the event.

The festival usually runs over 10 days in June and has attracted thousands of visitors to the town for more than 30 years.

Mrs Everitt, who has co-ordinated the event since 2000, wants the festival to continue to be successful but regrets she will no longer be the lead organiser.

She said: “It’s with great sadness that I’m stepping down but I understand that things can’t go on forever.

“It’s such a big music event and I feel it needs to be run by young blood with lots of energy who can take it forward. I’ve really enjoyed my time in organising it but I’ve decided I really need a bit of a break.”

The festival is a real community event, with businesses, pubs, schools and groups uniting to host various music performances and live arts and craft sessions.

Last year’s highlight was a headline performance by indie band Toploader, which had crowds dancing in the moonlight at Oakham Castle for the Funky Tent weekend.

The accounts for the festival are being kept open and the committee is keen for the festival to run next year.

It now wants groups or individuals to come forward to take on the position left by Mrs Everitt, 63, who won the mayor’s award last year for her contribution to the festival.

She said she would remain on the committee and would be on hand to help whoever takes on the role.

Mrs Everitt said: “I still want to contribute and would help and support anyone who did take over.

“There’s obviously a bit of disappointment that it’s not going ahead this year, but if someone does come forward it would be great to get things going for next year.”

Two events which would usually run as part of the festival are still being held.

The big band concert is taking place on June 26 in the marquee at Oakham School, while the school will also host the orchestral concert on June 20 in its chapel.

Anyone interest in taking on the role of lead organiser of the festival, or who would like to contribute, should call Mrs Everitt on 01572 723393 or e-mail joy.everitt@talktalk.net

 

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