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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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No Whitehaven or Solfest Festivals for Cumbria 2014 - official

THERE will be no Cumbria Whitehaven or Solfest Festival in 2014, organisers have confirmed – but it is hoped that a number of special events will take place throughout the year, and the festival will return in its traditional format in 2015.

memories: McFly at this year’s event

Gerard Richardson, chief executive officer of Whitehaven Festival Company, said: “There will be no Whitehaven Festival next year.

“We are being bombarded with calls from people who are planning trips and wanting to book hotels to tie in with next year’s festival, so it’s only fair that we announce as soon as we can that it will not take place.

“There are a number of reasons why, but primarily it’s to allow us to take stock of land availability for future events given that various parts of the harbour are earmarked for redevelopment.

“However, we are working extremely hard on a series of new special events in the town in its place, and we hope to announce details very soon.”

The annual festival has proved hugely popular since its inception in 1999, earning local and international praise and attracting visitors from far and wide with its mix of food, music and celebrities.

The festival has expanded annually, and in recent years has featured stars including Katherine Jenkins, Madness, McFly, Louis Walsh, Dynamo, The Charlatans, Status Quo, and the world’s best chefs, including Ainsley Harriott, Gino D’Acampo and, Whitehaven’s “adopted son”, Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Mr Richardson added: “I would like to pay tribute to sponsors and volunteers, past and present, who have helped make the work of Whitehaven Festival Company possible, in particular to Nuclear Management Partners whose support has been magnificent.

“I hope everyone will continue with their support for the future.”

Have your say

Reverting back this year to a tall ships weekend will be a breath of fresh air and a chance to get back to basics. Like the market, lets focus on the upper end and upper quality offering for the town. As for Sarah's comments about local businesses thriving, I know shopkeepers who close down for the weekend due to the loss of trade so lets not be too precious about the current formula

Posted by Carl Adlam on 29 October 2013 at 08:56

Sarah , the problem is that there are not that many people who wander into town from around the harbour area, King street is always quiet and there is no real influx of trade to local businesses.(although the pubs in the immediate vicinity always do well.) Also the casual workers are recruited from outside the area. This should be a "whole town" event. Sadly Whitehaven is in decline and we should look at the town being a real attraction to visitors and locals 52 weeks a year not relying on the festival and boosting the income of traders and workers from outside the area

Posted by Trevor Crawford on 28 October 2013 at 15:47

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