Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mathew Street may be permanently blown out

After a weekend in which high winds closed the festival down, more grim news for the Mathew Street Festival: it's got a massive budget problem. The Liverpool Echo explains:

The ECHO can reveal that of the £800,000 cost to stage the festival, Liverpool council has half funded Mathew Street with European money since 2005.

But next year that funding – part of the package from being European Capital of Culture in 2008 – will no longer be available.

Cabinet member for leisure and tourism Cllr Wendy Simon said the council is currently reviewing its events programme including the Mathew Street Festival.

She said: "At the moment no decisions have yet been taken about Mathew Street or the events programme as a whole."
There is a suggestion that the outdoor bits be dropped, returning the event to its roots of being pubs round the area banding together to put on a bunch of shows during the days - which was the solution forced on this year's festival by the weather.

Local businesses do pretty well out of the event. But although 500 were asked to contribute this year, only 20 did so. Doesn't suggest there might be much enthusiasm from the private sector to pick up the funding gap.

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