Fears over future of Pontefract Music Festival

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Organisers of Pontefract Music Festival – first held in 1903 – fear they could be forced to scrap the event owing to a lack of competitors.

The festival is due to run in March but so far only 141 people have registered to take part – compared with more than 400 last year.

Norman Dale, festival committee chairman, said: “So far we have 141 people due to take part but last year we had more than 400 so it’s really worrying because the competitors are where we get our finance from.”

The festival was also under threat last year because of a lack of support, but was saved after a grant from Wakefield Council’s community chest and an influx of entries.

The event includes a range of classes and performances over three weekends at venues across the town.

Mr Dale added: “The future of the festival depends on people taking part and we are trying to keep a key part of Pontefract’s heritage and history going.

“It’s very important because so many people have taken part over the years.”

The festival is due to start with school choir performances at King’s School on Friday, March 6.

The deadline for entries has been extended until Saturday, January 24.

Entries should be sent to Liz Quin, festival secretary, at pontfest@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.pontfest.org.uk for more details.