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Malcolm Hanson says Tour de France 'juggernaut' led to longer than usual wait for go-ahead
After months of uncertainty, Keighley Festival organisers confirmed the 2014 event will go ahead.
Despite initial problems with funding, a lack of full-time committee members and the possibility of being “swamped” by the Tour de France, festival chairman Malcolm Hanson announced the extravaganza is up and running.
“We realised that annual events such as the festival would likely be swallowed up in the hysteria surrounding the Tour de France, so we decided to begin the festival on July 7, the day after the cyclists pass through,” he said.
“But when we began approaching schools for our key events we found many had already been approached by local Grand Depart organisers for theirs, and we suffered because of that.
“Due to the juggernaut that the Tour de France is, we were forced to wait much longer than normal to find out what funding we might receive from Bradford Council.
“This meant we couldn’t confirm the festival would actually be on, but we finally got the go-ahead to organise.”
The festival will run from Monday, July 7, to Saturday, July 12.
East Riddlesden Hall, Central Hall, Victoria Hall and the Sangat Centre have been signed up for the main events, including the One Amazing Night children’s concert at Victoria Hall on Thursday, July 10.
Mr Hanson said: “We hope to get strong support for the art exhibitions, but where we really want to attract new blood is live music. We want Keighley bands to get together and organise their own gigs.
“We also want individuals to organise one-off events in the town centre. Where are all those people with wacky and wonderful ideas? All they have to do is to approach us with those ideas and we can look at funding and offering general help.”
The festival’s annual general meeting is on Thursday, April 3, at 7.30pm in Central Hall, Alice Street. Prospective event organisers and people wanting to participate are invited.
Mr Hanson said: “If we are to survive, it’s vital we have new blood to continue the legacy.”
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