Fundraising campaign to bring back West End Festival parade day
The West End Festival has launched a £50,000 fundraising campaign to bring back Festival Sunday – with the parade missing from this year’s programme.
With increasing costs for licensing, road closures, cleansing, security and policing, and cuts of funding across the board in the arts – compounded by the bad weather at Electric Gardens in November last year – Festival organisers decided not to put on the Mardi Gras spectacular on Byres Road on its 21st anniversary.
The streets of Byres Road and Dumbarton Road have been lined with up 100,000 people in past years.
And Liz Scobie, West End Festival chairman, said: “We’ve come to realise that as the public are so enthusiastic about the parade and businesses in the west end increase takings on Festival Sunday, we need to start to ask for help and support in future years.
“We’ve never been able to ticket the event, so we can’t charge for attending the parade, plus we’ve always wanted to ensure a real family day out for everyone to enjoy.
“As a charity and organisation run by volunteers we now have to ask the public to contribute to helping ensure we can make Festival Sunday happen.”
Michael Dale, who founded the festival back in 1996, added: “It’s just not possible to organise and run such a huge public event for free anymore. We’re launching a fundraising campaign online and we’re going to ask people to donate money through our website.
“We need to raise £50,000 by early next year if we’re going to put an event on like Festival Sunday. In addition, we’re also asking for everyone to give us their thoughts on what Festival Sunday could look like.
“It might not be as it has been in previous years – firstly, depending on funds and secondly, the public and businesses have the opportunity to shape something really special and potentially new.”
Donations are suggested from £5 and will be made through the website here http://www.westendfestival.co.uk/fundraising/ Anyone who donates £20 or more will be entered into a prize draw and will also be added to the Festival’s website supporter list.