Fes­ti­val fund­ing slashed

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

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.

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