A final fling before winter r
Festival stays strong despite double trouble of rain and the credit crunch
DREADFUL weather and the credit crunch didn’t sap the strength of this year’s Tenterden Folk Festival.
Despite Sunday’s persistent downpours and the financial squeeze, hundreds of thousands of pounds were still made for the local economy and crowds poured in.
Hotels were booked up months in advance and music events were sold out.
Alan Castle, festival director and trustee of the Tenterden Folk Day Trust, said: “Other festivals this summer have been rained off by bad weather and been affected by the credit crunch.
“But I am pleased to say we have put hundreds of thousands of pounds into the local economy, in fact all hotels in the town centre were virtually booked up six months in advance.
“We have more than broken even, in fact advanced ticket sales were double last year’s.
“I think people wanted a final fling before the winter sets in and the festival season is over.”
The three-day town centre festival kicked off on Friday evening with a Welcome Barn Dance at Tenterden Club. Friday evening events were indoors and thus untouched by weather, and dry spells on Saturday kept outdoor activities thriving.
Demand for the Saturday evening concert at the High Street’s White Lion pub was so great that visitors had to be turned away.
The nearby Woolpack pub was also filled to the brim for the sea songs and shanties afternoon on Saturday.
Sunday’s miserable weather meant far fewer stalls were put up and many morris dancers were unable to perform outdoors.
But overall attendance during the weekend maintained the event’s average of more than 2,000 people.
Mr Castle said: “I would like to thank all the organisers, traders and those attending the event for their support and I look forward to seeing them all again next year.”
Tenterden Folk Festival is in its 16th year, and began as a one-day attraction in 1993.
This year’s event brimmed with morris dancers in colourful costumes, concerts including lunchtime acoustic sessions, street stalls and a beer festival and hog roast.
The event closed with a final audience participation singaround at the Woolpack on Sunday night.
Royal Liberty, from the East End, perform outside The Vine Inn
Dacre from Lewisham perform outside the HSBC
Cinque Ports morris perform outside the Kentish