Public meeting on future of Riverside festival

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RESIDENTS and music fans are being urged to attend a public meeting to discuss the future of a music festival.

Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles will be chairing a meeting to look at the future of the Riverside Music festival in Stamford Arts Centre on Saturday, March 19.

Organisers of the festival, the Riverside Association of Music and Arts, announced in December that it was calling off this year’s event as it was unable to reach an agreement with Stamford Town Council over the hire of the Meadows, where the festival is held.

The organisers are hoping to find a way forward for the festival and hope to hear from people on what they want from the event and if they want it to continue.

Mayor David Brailsford will also be attending the meeting and hopes that the matter can be resolved amicably.

The meeting will include a short presentation on the festival’s past and future along with explanation of the current situation.

Association director Jenny Collins says that visitors enjoy the festival but is urging people to attend the meeting to let organisers know what they want.

She said: “We felt that someone independent should chair it. We don’t want it to be a slanging match between us and the council. We want a proper debate about the issues on the table.

“We want people to form their own views. They come along and enjoy the day and in greater numbers coming each year.

“If they want their festival to continue then this is the chance for them to have their say. We can’t please all the people, all of the time, and we do try very hard to take on board their concerns.”

Mayor Coun Brailsford hopes that a way forward will be found.

He said: “I have always been of the opinion that the Riverside didn’t take place because the directors withdrew the application but I have always felt that it would take place in 2012, that’s a personal view. Sometimes things perhaps get slightly out of hand and I think with time things will be resolved amicably and move forward.

“I am very pleased that Nick is getting involved, I think that it is very good of him and probably very brave of him to chair the meeting and it will help.”

MP Mr Boles said: “I thought that the right thing for me to do is to offer to convene a meeting and chair it in order to achieve and enable people to express their own views and hear representatives from the festival and town council.”

The public meeting will be held in the ballroom at Stamford Arts Centre, from midday. The meeting will start at 12.15pm.