THE future of a music festival is in jeopardy after its veteran organiser stepped down.

Donal O’Driscoll, who has organised the last ten Heckyfests in Heckmondwike said he no longer had time to organise the event.

Mr O’Driscoll started the festivals in 2007 and said last year's, which ran over two days in July and featured 28 bands, was the pinnacle of his running of the event.

He said: “Each one of these family-friendly music festivals gets more and more exhausting to organise and deliver.

“The outstanding performances from every one of the 28 band line up over two days and two stages at the last festival was simply incredible to witness.

“If there’s anyone out there with the time and the energy to do the next one I’m more than happy to pass on the details of all the excellent technical crew I have as well as the brilliant service providers needed to make the festival successful and safe for everyone.

“The last festival cost just over £12,000. The long-running belief of our local councillors and the long-standing financial assistance from Kirklees Council made Heckyfest a reality in the past.

“Green Park, and Heckmondwike in general, is a fantastic place to hold these events.

“I’ve felt incredibly proud of my home town, how well it has looked over the festival weekends and how welcoming the Heckmondwike people have been to everyone attending the events, many coming from far and wide.

“The children are used to having the fairground and a lot of people have got into the pattern of coming down.

“A lot of people would really miss it, the festival has become a bit of an institution, people know it is the start of the summer holidays when they hear the music coming from the town.

“At last year’s festival the crowd peaked at 2,000, and throughout the weekend we estimated about 3,5000 to 4,000 people came down.”

Mr O’Driscoll said a new leader was needed as soon as possible to come on board and organise the next festival, despite it being more than four months away.

“It is a great festival and I hope there is someone out there interested in taking over.

“It’s well organised and there is a great team in place,” he added.

If no new financial backers can be found, Mr O’Driscoll said a scaled down version of the festival may be held in Green Park, featuring only one stage and containing fewer acts.

Councillor Steve Hall (Lab, Heckmondwike) said it would be “a great pity” if the music festival disappeared from the town’s calendar.

He said: “It brings a hell of a lot of people into Heckmondwike but with how much it has grown I can understand Donal stepping down, but I would like to see it continue.

“Some local businesses do really well out of it and it lifts the whole town, it has something for people who appreciate all forms of music.”

Anyone interested in supporting or getting involved with Heckyfest should contact Peter Earnshaw on 07885 584215.