Show goes on as benefactors avert festival cash crisis

Show goes on as benefactors avert festival cash crisis

PROMOTERS never have it easy – and a cash crisis put local music mogul Donal O’Driscoll in the same boat as Woodstock.

Donal suffered an unexpected blow for Heckmondwike’s 13th Crown of Lights Free Music Festival. With 26 bands lined up and a crowd of 2,000 expected last weekend, he suddenly found he was £1,500 short.

But a frantic hunt for extra financial support ended when Ponderosa boss Howard Cook stepped in. Also at the 11th hour, main stage supplier Raise the Roof waived their fee last Sunday for the festival’s second day.

That meant an extra £800 could be put towards the £20,000 cost of staging the event.

Kirklees Council’s Batley and Spen District Committee covered most of the funding.

But as with other major festivals, crowds would hardly have known about the behind-the-scenes activity.

Centred on Green Park, it was the biggest and best-attended Crown of Lights weekend ever.

Seventeen acts played to packed crowds last Saturday and a further nine performed the next day.

Donal said: “I was delighted with how both days went. I was particularly pleased that we achieved the relaxed atmosphere on the Sunday with a 20-piece swing band opening the the second day.”

Visitors came from as far as Co Durham and Donal added: “The festival really does put Heckmondwike on the map. Our market research tells us we get a good spread of people attending from surrounding towns and cities.”


• A new series of band and acoustic nights under the Crown of Lights banner will soon begin.

The free indoor shows are at the Comrades Club on Regent Street, which has a 200-seat space. Band nights are monthly from Friday, September 3, and acoustic nights are monthly from October.

To receive free notification shortly before each event, text ‘Hi’ once to 07957 765573.

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