We’ll pay bills - then think about next year

Big Stooshie logo
Big Stooshie logo

ORGANISERS of the Big Stooshie music festival are appealing for support from the local community to help them take the event forward despite it being a financial flop in its first year.

It was hoped to raise £100,000 for forces charities at the three-day event, which took place at the Howe Country Centre near Giffordown two weeks ago - but disappointing attendance figures meant that it failed to break even.

Now talks are being held with creditors in a bid to reach agreement on a repayment plan - but Big Stooshie managing director Jim Russell insists that the experience hasn’t put him off doing it all again in 2013.

He likened the event to the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway, which failed to take off in its first year but has since gone from strength to strength.

He told the Fife Herald: “It would be reckless to say that the Big Stooshie will definitely be going ahead next year because our priority is paying off our creditors, although we have plans in place to do that.

“This year we started from zero, but everything is in place to hit the ground running next time as we have a website, logo and branding, plus around 3000 people on our mailing list.

“So we have established a presence and those who attended the festival said it was fantastic.

“However, we need to look at having a different funding model and more support from financial backers as well as the support of the wider community, and that is what we’re aiming towards.”

Mr Russell admitted it was ‘disappointing’ that the charities that were set to benefit from the event - SSAFA Forces Help and Help for Heroes - had not received any proceeds, but he said they had raised money through the sale of merchandise and were pleased to have had the chance to raise awareness of their cause.

He added that an online facility had been set up on the Big Stooshie’s Facebook page to enable people to donate to the charities.

But he denied that £100,000 had been too ambitious a target, saying it would have been perfectly feasible had people turned out in the numbers that were expected.

It was hoped to attract around 12,000 music fans to the festival over the weekend, but fewer than 3000 turned up - a figure Mr Russell blamed partly on the economic climate as well as the lack of ‘brand awareness’.

More than 60 bands performed over the three days, including The Damned, Glasvegas and James.