Council Cabinet Member Cllr Don Massey has reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s Danson Festival, due to poor ground conditions caused by exceptionally bad weather over the winter.
The Festival has been a regular feature of the calendar over recent years, attracting around 60,000 visitors. Cory Riverside had already agreed to sponsor this year’s event, but Cllr Massey felt forced to act, as parts of the Festival site remain saturated with rainwater.
Council officers have been regularly monitoring the ground conditions on the site over recent months.
Cllr Massey explained: “This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I know that many people will be disappointed. I decided I had to act now to protect the park and to avoid further work and expense for all those involved in the Festival.
“Our commercial and voluntary sector partners have been central to the success of the Festival over recent years. I did not want them to devote further resources to an event which had a large question mark hanging over it.
“This is one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but I believe it is the right one.”
Although the location and size of Danson Park lends itself to major events, the geology of the park is far from ideal. The subsoil is largely clay, which results in poor drainage, pooling of water on the surface and the washing away of the topsoil when there is heavy rain.
Councillors reached a decision on the long-term future of the Festival earlier this year when they approved the Council’s Budget. The decision was that the Festival will only be held in future years if the full cost can be met through external sponsorship, not by Council Tax payers. This requirement had been fully met by Cory Riverside for the 2014 event. The Council remains very grateful for Cory’s generous offer of support.