The Solfest committee has spent the last couple of months since the end of the festival re grouping and trying to find a feasible way forward. This includes how to pay any acts and contributors that are still owed money from this year’s festival. Unfortunately turnout for Solfest 2018 was a lot lower than expected, with the historic debt the festival has the committee has had to make some really tough decisions.
Nathan Sutherland of the committee had this to say about it:
“We have been able to raise funds from an online crowdfunder and a successful fundraiser at the Brickyard in Carlisle which has given hope to the committee that we will be able to fulfill our promise to our creditors. This has also led to the committee making concrete plans for the future of the festival, which has also led to the difficult decision to announce that 2019 and the 15th Solfest will be the final one.
As well as 2019 being the final Solfest we will also be taking the festival back to its roots, reducing the size of the festival but still keeping the best bits. The size of the festival will be reflected in the amount of tickets available which will be reduced and are limited. The line-up will be extensive and as usual cover a broad range of acts and genres with an emphasis on grass roots and local music.
We have listened to much advice and feedback and have drawn up a plan that means we will be able to pay off our debt and put on a farewell festival. Due to the nature of the financial side of the festival we will not be making any line-up announcements until the spring as that is when we feel we will be able to start paying off all the creditors and we will have a full understanding of where we are financially.
Solfest 2018 was one of the best Solfests to date and we are keeping everything that people loved but just condensing it which will mean a few stages will not be there this year. Favorites like the Drystone, family area, chill out and bar will all be there plus a few others and we are going to be using the space as best as possible.
For the farewell festival we want to make it as accessible for people as possible and ticket prices have been reduced, they are currently £79.00 for the weekend with all other prices the same as last year with the addition of a £5.00 parking charge per car to reduce the amount of traffic on site.
The feedback from 2018 was amazing, this included a great debrief with the local authorities who were very pleased with how the festival was ran this year.
We know how much the festival means to people which is why this one will be all about going back to it’s roots for one last amazing party at Solfest. 2019 really will be about the amazing people who make this festival one of the best in the country.”
In a continued effort to raise funds, Solfest’s next fundraiser will be at Wheyrigg Hall Hotel Near Wigton, on the 16th of February.
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