Llanwrtyd Wells Food Festival Pulls The Plug For 2011

02 Dec

I was sad to learn in a phone call from Chef Peter James this morning that his committee has reluctantly decided not to run their food festival next year. This long running festival folding and one which we have been involved with as media sponsors for five years, is very upsetting and I fear, a sign of bleak times ahead for the food industry. Peter and his team have had to make this decision now as they have been told by WAG Food, as I have that, they will not know whether there is food festival funding until the end of January. As Llawnrtyd Wells takes place early April, it really doesn’t give them much of a choice does it?  

As regards Food Festivals I have been saying the same thing for too many years; the funding scheme really wasn’t fair. Large festivals were well funded, despite them having the opportunity not only to charge an entrance fee but to attract sponsors – yet they could still take the lion’s share of this ever-decreasing budget. To my mind this wasn’t a difficult scenario, as was evaluating festivals to see if they were doing a decent job. But it was only this year, as the credit crunch bit even harder, Welsh Assembly Government, WAG Food brought in Miller Research to survey all the festivals. Like me you might well ask, why now, to what end is this all about? But on that we shall just have to wait and see if we get told when their job has been done. Although Peter’s festival took place eight months ago, he’s still not had any feedback through yet, not even an interim report. I’m not saying that if Peter had got any feedback, that the outcome for 2011 would be any different, but I know how many hoops organisers have to jump through, ‘ticking WAG boxes’ but where WAG fail is that they don’t feedback. Communication as always is the key, but it appears WAG haven’t got key………

 I’m sure that this will not be the only festival to give up the struggle in 2011 and Wales will certainly be the poorer for it.

 I’d like to thank Peter and his hard-working team of volunteers for all their efforts over the years, it’s one of the friendliest festivals we went too – hence we were keen to take on the role of media sponsors. I hope that WAG Food will also pass on their thanks too……………………………………………………….


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  1. Regular visitor

    January 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I have been quite a few times to this event and I did enjoy it. Only spent a few hours there and then went for a walk but my wife and I did enjoy having a wander around the super stalls and then into the craft are which was also quite a good standard. I actually met Kath in the craft area where they had a stall – had a good chat and gave her a few ideas for stories for the future. I wouldn’t have thought Wales could afford to lose such a good event but I must thank the people involved for putting in such a lot of work. It’s sad news for LW and for Powys. Why couldn’t Powys step in and help?