One last festival

Skateboarding was popular at the Beveridge Park Festival
Skateboarding was popular at the Beveridge Park Festival

A ONE-DAY community event on June 29 will mark the last ever Beveridge Park Community Festival.

The organising committee of the popular festival, which, until this year has been a three-day extravaganza, has decided that after last year’s event making a loss of around £1000, and costs continuing to rise while grants fall, it is winding up after this, its tenth festival.

And members say there are just enough funds to stage a one day event in June which will use up the remainder of the cash in the festival’s bank account.

Describing the decision as “very sad” and “one which was not easy to make” Liz Easton, chairman of the Beveridge Park Community Events Group, said that running the festival was no longer financially sustainable, particularly in the current financial climate.

Summer trial

“Last year’s event was held later in the summer to see if it could help cut back on the trouble experienced in previous years when hundreds of youths had converged on the marquee which hosted live band events in the evenings.

“It was a sort of trial run to see if the different timing of the festival would have an effect, but we only sold around a third of the number of tickets for the live band events, which had been our major fundraisers, and the youngsters still turned up and disrupted things,” she explained.

The final event will continue to feature community input through the information and fundraising stalls by local groups, a music roadshow from Kingdom FM and children’s entertainers.

There will also be the ever popular skate and bike competition which has been run every year by volunteers from the Kirkcaldy Skate and Bike Initiative, the group which helped secure the skate park within Beveridge Park.

Gresat volunteers

“The volunteers who have also done this for the past nine years wanted last year to be the final one, but we persuaded them to make this year their last one, which they have agreed to,” explained Liz.

“Their input has been fantastic and they took on the whole organisation of the afternoon competition themselves, from the registration and prizes to the DJs and music.”

The final decision to wind up the festival was made at the group’s AGM last Thursday.

“There are only eight of us on the committee and although we had it down to a fine art, it was far too much work for so few people,” explained Liz.

“We enlist the help of young people from the YMCA to help out, and we get a great deal of help from the Community Payback Scheme in setting up and packing up afterwards. We couldn’t do it without that help.

“Had it not been for the fact that Lights Out by Nine did a special one-off concert for us in the Beveridge Park Hotel last year the loss of money would have been much greater, so this year is the right time for us to call it a day.

“It is very sad, but there’s no way we could afford to continue.”