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Festival’s plea for help

Norman Dale fears Pontefract music festival will have to be axed if the committee does not have more entries and sponsors.

Norman Dale fears Pontefract music festival will have to be axed if the committee does not have more entries and sponsors.

Organisers of Pontefract Music Festival are urging more people to take part in this year’s event or it could be the last.

Norman Dale, festival committee chairman, is calling for more entries and sponsors.

He said: “Unless there is a significant increase in entries and businesses coming forward to sponsor the event, then this year’s festival could well be the last.

“It’s very important the festival continues. It’s part of the town’s heritage. It started in 1903 and it was very successful in its early years.

“Since the 1980s it has dropped and in the last five years we have been really struggling.”

Mr Dale said last year’s festival made a loss and this year’s event was only saved thanks to a Wakefield Council community chest grant.

He said participation in the festival had declined in recent years, and the number of schools taking part had fallen, affecting income.

Mr Dale added: “I’m not quite sure why entrants have dropped off so much.

“It’s not just our festival , it’s happening across Yorkshire.

“Our biggest support has come from schools in the area but there is a new emphasis in schools.

“Everything is focused on exams and, as a former headteacher, I understand the amount of time they have to spend on that. But the festival is so beneficial for children.”

This year’s festival runs from March 28 to April 5 and includes various categories for children and adults.

The deadline for entries is Monday, January 27.

Mr Dale added: “I would urge anyone thinking of signing up to do so.

“It really is a fantastic experience,especially for younger children.”

Organisers are also seeking entries for the festival’s poster competition.

Mr Dale added: “We also need more local businesses to step in and give us some financial support and sponsorship.”

The festival committee will be hosting a stall at Pontefract market on Saturday, January 25 from 10am to noon.

To help with sponsorship or take part in the event, contact Liz Quinn, committee secretary, on email pontfest@hotmail.co.uk or by calling 01977 620116.

For more information about the festival, poster competition or sponsorship opportunities including this year’s syllabus, visit www.pontfest.org.uk

 

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