Festival funding slashed
The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival has taken a 60 per cent funding cut for next year’s event.
Festival director Anne O’Brien says Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) cut its support by $30,000 because there were ‘‘too many groups applying’’.
ATEED, a councilcontrolled group, has given $50,000 each year for the past two events.
Next year organisers will get $20,000.
The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival is a five-day event with more than 150 writers attending from New Zealand and around the world. This year was the 13th festival and saw a record-breaking crowd of more than 34,000 attend and box office sales of $350,000.
The festival has seen an increase in ticket sales over the last few years.
In 2012 the festival had a 10 per cent increase in ticket sales on 2011.
However, the charitable trust which organises the festival still relies on council and sponsorship.
Ms O’Brien says $1.7 million of a total pool of $2.2m had been preallocated to major Auckland events, which left a large number of organisations including the festival applying for a limited pool of money.
Hiking ticket prices will hurt patronage, she says.
Councillor Alf Filipaina, who heads Auckland Council’s culture, arts and events forum, says they will ask ATEED to reconsider.