No Fake Festival for town next year

Enjoying the bands at Gainsborough's Fake Festival G110730-5b
Enjoying the bands at Gainsborough's Fake Festival G110730-5b

HUNDREDS of residents have been left disappointed after a town council disagreement has led to the Fake Festival not returning to Gainsborough next year.

Back in July, more than 600 people descended upon Roses Playing Field for the Gainsborough Fake Festival.

Local band StereoEpic at Gainsborough's Fake Festival G110730-4i

Local band StereoEpic at Gainsborough's Fake Festival G110730-4i

Now, after a dispute over the price of renting the grounds, it has emerged that the event will not be returning to the town.

The 2011 concert was held with the grounds being leased out to Fake Festivals for free to get it up and running in the town. A number of Gainsborough Town Councillors recently argued that with festival attendance expected to double next year, a fee of £1,000 should be charged to Fake Festivals.

However, the events company have a flat fee of £300 which they offer to all venues.

Gainsborough resident Kevin Fisher put it down to ‘council greed’, asking:

“Why turn down £300 for an event that so many people actually enjoy and you don’t have to do anything?”

Fake Festivals managing director Jez Lee said: “Gainsborough Town Council have basically priced themselves out of it really.”

“They set their price far too high and weren’t willing to negotiate. The council have made this decision and I have accepted that and have moved on. It’s not an issue for me as I’ve now filled that date with another venue - it’s just a shame that the people of Gainsborough that will miss out.”

He continued: “The Fake Festival gives local people something to look forward to all year round, and I would like to thank all Gainsborough folk for coming this year.”

“We’re sad not to be coming back, but we hope to see you all at our other nearby events in Retford, Scunthorpe and Haxey.”

Jez added: “There are other towns crying out for something like this, so we’ll just take it elsewhere.”

Paul Key was one of the town councillors who asked for the Festival to be charged £1,000 and refused the £300 offer.

“Charging £300 for the use of the field is not good value for the council,” he said.

“I and a few others thought that they can expect at least 1,000 people through the gates next year, and the charge of £1 per person was more than reasonable - especially when you take into account the money they’ll be making on food and drink.”

He continued: “We’re £80,000 over budget and it’s just not sustainable to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Coun Key added: “We put on a lot of other events for free throughout the year and it’s not fair for the taxpayer to be footing the bill. We need to make money wherever we can.”

As well as some of the UK’s top tribute bands, Fake Festivals also featured local talent on the line-up - including Gainsborough rock band Stereoepic.

“I’m really disappointed,” said Stereoepic singer and guitarist Graeme Chappelow. “But I’m not surprised. The council is run by old people, and they don’t make enough conscious effort to do things for the young people in town.”

“I’m 27-years-old and I have grown up with nothing to do in Gainsborough, so this doesn’t surprise me at all and it actually strikes me as quite greedy.”

He continued: “It was definitely a great place to showcase local talent. There’s a really big underground music scene in Gainsborough, and a lot of bands are doing really well.”

“We can put on our own shows, but this was a great way to be exposed to people who wouldn’t normally hear our music - and we had so many people we’ve never met before praising us after the show.”

Former council activities officer Holly Parker was also disappointed: “The last festival was so well received for its first attempt after it was cancelled the year before and we worked hard to regain people’s trust.”

“It was great to show off the talent we have in Gainsborough and it was wonderful for people to have something fun to experience without having to travel elsewhere.”

She added: “Not only will the council be losing the income but the people of Gainsborough will be losing one of the highlights of the summer.”