Riverside Festival will be held next summer

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THE popular Riverside Festival will run next year after organisers reached an agreement with Stamford Town Council.

The Riverside Association of Music and Arts was forced to cancel this year’s event after a long-running dispute with the council, which is responsible for The Meadows where the event is staged.

The row was over a broken bench and the councillors desire to see audited accounts, which the charity refused to provide because it would have to pay.

A contractor eventually paid for the repairs to the bench and this week, the town council and the directors of the event signed an agreement meaning the event will go ahead on Saturday, July 7.

Jenny Collins, one of Riverside’s directors, said: “We are absolutely delighted that it is all done and dusted and we can move forward with putting on a great show for Stamford.”

The town council has applied a number of conditions on the festival, including a £1,000 charge to use The Meadows, a £2,000 deposit, ticketing the event and limiting the size of the audience.

Jenny said the directors had wanted to introduce ticketing to cover the costs of staging the event and to limit the audience to 15,000.

Jenny said: “You have got to weigh up the pros and cons of the agreement and we are happy that the event can go ahead now, which is what we have been working for all along.”

She is aiming to get tickets on sale in February and people who buy in advance will get a discount.

She plans to continue to regularly meet with councillors on an informal basis to “keep a positive relationship and ensure any issues don’t escalate”.

Jenny is now applying for grants and looking for sponsorship and financial support.

She said the event would cost £85,000 to stage, in addition to gifts in kind of help, and less than half will come from the ticket price.

The Association is holding a meeting at Mama Liz’s in North Street, Stamford, at 5pm on Sunday, December 4, for anyone who wants to get involved in volunteering or organising the event.

In a joint statement, the town council and the Riverside Association said they were “putting behind them all previous contentious issues to make a fresh start”.

The last Riverside Festival was held in 2010 when a two-day event was held to mark the 10-year anniversary.

After the dispute with the town council, other locations were considered but were ruled out because the event couldn’t be organised in time.

For more details on Riverside phone Jenny Collins on 07788 534 290 or e-mail info@riversidefestival.co.uk