This year Newport are running a food festival for what I understand is the first time and are receiving financial support of £15,171k from Wag. As Newport have asked for more than £10k, that means they’ve had to supply Wag with a business plan for the event, but with the Council’s financial department to hand, this is not proved a deterrent to Newport as it has to other festivals. Newport takes place on 28/29th October, partly clashing with Cowbridge, with Newport having the advantage of free entry on both days apart from having some ticketed activity.
I’ve been onto Newport Food Festival website today, which is actually Newport City Council website. Then I got rather confused as to whether this festival is a stand alone event or not. It appears to be running through the tail end of Newport Festival which is launched on 24th July. Our office has rung Newport Council and been told it’s part of the Newport Festival, but under Wag’s 2011 criteria, ‘food activity must be the core’. Well as we;ve been told it’s part of the Newport Festival, how can food be the core activity? Another interesting fact to throw into this mix is that the Newport Food Festival website url is owned by Miller Research. Regular readers will be aware that Miller Research from Abergavenny were asked by Wag to do an analysis of all the food festivals they funded last year……………..
Regular readers will also know how angry I am that Smallholder was thrust into turmoil when Wag refused to fund them this year. Bearing in mind that the Smallholder was originally run by Wag themselves. No funding caused huge problems for everyone, plus gave no alternative but to have increased tradestand prices, just because Wag stuck to their criteria – well in this instance they did. The Royal Welsh and the Winter Fair will not have this problem as both these events are conveniently funded by Wag out of a different Wag budget!!
I have never had so many calls and emails about matters festival related as I have this year. Plus I have no idea at all why Wag needs to make life in the food sector more complicated that it is. When Wag have their usual Food Festival Organisers meeting in February, why couldn’t all these issues have been sorted out there and then? Why am I now in a situation where I’m being asked questions that I have no answers for? If I give people what should be the ‘easy’ solution of ringing Wag and talking to Jon Parker, who I think is still responsible for food festivals, for some reason that never appears to be a favourable option, I wonder why…………………………….
If you have any more news or insights into this situation, then please help me out and let me know. I just don’t understand how this can have happened.