Carnival approved for Kirkcaldy - but music festival turned down

Last year's Carnival in Kirkcaldy  (c) David Wardle
Last year's Carnival in Kirkcaldy (c) David Wardle

Kirkcaldy looks set to host another colourful Fife Carnival after funding for the event was approved by councillors.

Kirkcaldy Area Committee agreed to provide £15,000 for the carnival which proved to be a huge success when it was held for the first time in the town last summer.

Members gave the green light for the funding - £8000 from this year’s Local Community Planning part of the area budget and £7000 from next year’s. The total project costs are £45,350.

Councillors heard the carnival, staged in the Town Square and in the High Street across seven performance stages, brought an estimated 10,000 people into Kirkcaldy.

The aim this year is to extend the scope and range of the event, due to take place once again in July.

Roger Spence from Jazz Scotland, which is organising the carnival along with Fife Cultural Trust, told the committee: “We have funding in place from the EU and other sources to support the programme and we are looking to have approximately 200 international performers which is an increase on last year.

“We are talking to the South African government, the government in the Bahamas as well as other countries to see if they can send performers for the Fife Carnival as well as the Commonwealth Games.

“There will be international performers at the Glasgow celebrations for Mandela Day which is the day before the Fife Carnival and we hope that can spill out into our programme.”

He told the committee funding was needed to help pay travel costs to bring the performers to Kirkcaldy: “It was a leap of faith for you to support us last year and we delivered a successful event, but it’s a free event and so it needs funding.

“It’s only through your support that we can make it happen.”

Councillor Judy Hamilton said: “The event proved itself to be a tremendous success and we had a detailed evaluation afterwards. I’m confident about supporting this event again.”

Councillor David Ross said: “I thought last year’s event was tremendous and it exceeded my expectations.

“I am pleased to see we are building on last year and hopefully we can have more participation from schools.”

Councillor Kay Carrington said the carnival was a new experience for the town, boosting the local tourist trade.

Councillor Susan Leslie raised concerns about using money from next year’s area budget without knowing what the full amount of next year’s area budget is.

She also suggested an evaluation report be brought forward after the carnival and this was agreed by the committee.

Summer musical festival refused funding

Members of Kirkcaldy Area Committee refused a funding application of £20,000 from the organisers of Kirkcaldy Summer Music Festival.

A report which went before members said the intention was to deliver a three day music festival in the Town Square from June 13-15.

The festival, costing £50,000 to stage, aimed to attract a family audience and was to be alcohol free.

The report said the festival was being delivered by Kirkcaldy4All.

The programme was to consist of local bands performing on the Friday evening, a youth disco on the Saturday afternoon in a nearby venue, a family evening of music and bands on the Saturday and tribute bands performing on the Sunday.

But councillors refused saying there was not enough detailed information provided to support the funding application.

Councillor Hamilton raised concerns about the lack of detail and this was echoed by councillor Susan Leslie.

Councillor Leslie said: “I appreciate it is someone known to us in the town who is organising this but I think we are being asked to take a huge leap of faith without the detailed information. We know what we are getting with the carnival because we supported it last year.”

Councillor Neil Crooks said he had previously told the Kirkcaldy4All board that the committee may be unlikely to support such an event without seeing a proper business case.

Councillor David Ross said: “I don’t think we have the information here to support it. If the organisers still think they could make the festival happen I welcome them to come back with a more detailed report.”

Councillor Leslie added: “It would be great to see this event happening, particularly where we are talking about holding it, but in the long term we would not want to fund it to this extent year after year.”