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Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Final curtain for Nibley Festival

The directors and managers of Nibley Festival have made a shock announcement that this summer's fixture for the popular music event will be its last.

Neil Hasson, Chair of the Nibley Festival, told Punchline-Gloucester.com that the 2024 event will reluctantly be the final curtain for the July event which has snowballed in popularity to become one of the West Country's key musical fixtures.

Headline acts this year (July 5th to 7th) include EMF, Dodgy and The Hoosiers while past festivals have included Scouting for Girls, The Christians, The Selecter, Cast, Sleeper and Newport legends Feeder.

Mr Hasson said: "The Festival has been at the heart of our community since 2007 and we are proud to be one of the largest family-focused, volunteer-led festivals in the country.

"Donating the money the festival raises is in our DNA and many local voluntary organisations also generate valuable income that is, often, their only fundraising opportunity of the year. In our time, funds generated by Nibley Festival have totalled nearly £400,000."

Challenges have ranged from Covid to power failures and huge rainstorms, he added, but the key problem was one shared across the events industry: "It's becoming increasingly difficult for small independent festivals to operate, and we are trying to manage ever increasing costs against a backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis. Many festivals are in a similar situation.

He added that the committee had reached the decision with great sadness.

He said: "This hasn't been an easy decision and all of our volunteer team are totally heartbroken. We're just a group of willing volunteers who live in the local area and give our time so that 5,000 of you can have a fabulous weekend partying on the farm, whilst generating much needed funds for the local community. We are very proud of what we have achieved over the years."

Despite the bad news, the organisers are hopeful for a strong attendance for what will effectively be the festival's 16th birthday party. The event's sponsor is Renishaw PLC.

"We're hoping that you'll join us again this year, for one final time, to give our festival the send-off it deserves. We are going to chuck everything at it, making this the best festival ever," he said.

"Our line-up is amazing, across our four stages. All our free family entertainment is booked. There will be amazing food and we have some great things planned for our bars.

"We hope this year's festival will be the one you talk about for years to come and will be the one that your kids remind you of when they're grown up. We plan to smash this one out the park. We owe that to everyone who has played, helped, volunteered and attended Nibley Festival."

We will do everything we can to organise the best festival, have a great big family party, and to make more memories that will last a lifetime.

● The Association of Independent Festivals recently launched a 5% for Festivals campaign calling for the government to lower VAT on music-festival ticket sales from 20% to 5% for three years as a number of festivals cancel their plans for this summer.

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