Step up to save the festival

PEOPLE need to “step up and get involved” if the Mangotsfield Village Festival is to continue next year.

Members of the festival’s organising committee say the event’s future is at “serious risk” because of a shortfall in funding and volunteers.

A vote on its future will be taken at a meeting in July.

The organisers say this year’s festival on June 8 attracted between 2,000 and 3,000 people to the North Field at Pomphrey Hill, and was a “memorable day”.

The committee said: “We were thrilled to welcome back the Sambistas, who kicked off our festival in the right way by drawing in the crowds with a joyful noise. The diversity of displays, attractions and performers at the festival truly enhanced the spirit of the event, and indicates the level of enthusiasm for such things in the Mangotsfield and wider community.”

But the event only went ahead after a £5,000 grant from Emersons Green Town Council – and an appeal for festival-goers to donate £3 each towards costs raised just £800.

Before the pandemic, the festival was held at Cleve RFC’s ground but its move to the North Field when it returned last year means organisers cannot charge an entry fee to help towards the estimated £16,000 costs.

The organisers said: “The future of the event is at serious risk, for two main reasons, so this may be the last time we see the festival run in its current format.

“We love putting on the festival and we want to ensure its future, and even though 2,000 to 3,000 people attended the event, we only received £800 in donations.

“Rising costs for equipment hire, along with dwindling external donations to the event, have made it touch and go as to whether we could financially proceed with this year’s event, but a grant donation from Emersons Green Town Council secured the event for this year.

“The committee have discussed at length the reliance on an individual source of funding and have concluded that we should establish our own funds generation scheme.To that end we plan to start crowdfunding, the details of which will be posted on our Facebook page.

“We need to raise £7,500 by next year’s event and ask that if every attendee to the festival could contribute just £2, the future of this highly popular and well-regarded event will be secure. In addition, we now actively need to seek new volunteers. The existing committee is made up of just 11 individuals, and a good proportion of them have been involved since the event’s inception over 30 years ago.

“We are asking people who would like to pick up the torch and carry the event forward for the next 30 years to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity, so that we can continue to provide this well-loved event for future generations.”

The festival committee holds its annual meeting on Tuesday July 9, at 7.30pm, in the Scout Hall in Northcote Road.

The committee said: “We plan to hold a vote at the meeting to make a final decision on the future of Mangotsfield Village Festival – if the community want to see the festival survive they need to step up and get involved.”

The committee can be reached via the festival Facebook page, by emailing or calling 07765 201435.