Stendhal adds 40 acts to festival line-up despite funding blow
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Festival Director, Ross Parkhill, said the decision has added serious financial pressures but with just five weeks to go, the best option was to move ahead with their plans and hope additional ticket sales can cover the cut funding.
Mr. Parkhill described the loss of funding as ‘staggering’.
“We have regrettably been forced to take the decision that weekend camping ticket prices will need to rise further than we previously anticipated from Monday, June 12.
“We didn’t take this decision lightly as we take immense pride in the value of our ticket price comparable to other camping and non-camping festivals, but we have no alternative to attempt to safeguard the future of the festival, again,” he stated.
The director of the award-winning Limavady festival said the loss of funding comes after a difficult number of years for cultural producers.
“The past number of years has just been one thing after another, Covid, cost of living and now severe, probably permanent funding cuts from our main tourist body.
"It is only a matter of time before a number of events in this country are gone forever because they are simply unaffordable for organisers to put on, particularly independent ones such as us.”
Despite the blow Stendhal will go ahead.
Ross said they will ‘carry on as best we can, as we always do’, further stating that, ‘we understand the responsibility we have to our music and arts sector, which is why we are delighted to be able to announce that 40 more acts have recently been added to the bill’.
A spokesperson for Tourism NI said: “Tourism NI has now received an indicative budget allocation from the Department for 2023/24 which is significantly lower than in previous years.
"We are seeking to minimise the impact of the cuts on the wider tourism industry and this has unfortunately resulted in us having to take some difficult decisions as to how we spend our budgets this year. We have therefore had to take the regrettable decision not to operate the National Tourism Events Sponsorship Scheme in 2023/24.
“Whilst we are not in a position to provide sponsorship funding, we are keen to identify other ways in which Tourism NI may be able to support events in the year ahead and will be working closely with event providers.
"Our National Tourism Events Sponsorship Scheme is not designed to provide a source of long-term or core funding and, when operating, is always heavily oversubscribed.”
Among the acts joining Bell X1, The Wailers, Newton Faulkner and Turin Brakes are; Jack Lukeman, an Irish platinum selling raconteur who recently sold out the 6,000 seat 3 Arena; Chalk, a fast- rising Northern Irish act who have a buzz about them in the local scene not experienced in quite some time; NI Music Prize Winners Robocobra Quartet; breakout hip-hop artist Leo Miyagee; Country legend Hugo Duncan; contemporary Trad act All Folk’d Up; 50s style American rock n’ roll with Dylan Kirk and the Killers; the Elixir and Antidote Emcee’s hip-hop showcase; and the Free 2 Dance showcase.
Stendhal takes place from July 6-8 at Ballymully Cottage Farm. Visit www.stendhalfestival.com