Rumours dismissed: Arundel Festival WILL go ahead

Arundel Festival chairman Michael Tu
Arundel Festival chairman Michael Tu

Arundel Festival chairman Michael Tu has dismissed rumours that the Arundel Festival won’t be going ahead this year.

Stories are circulating that the festival was either going to be scrapped or become an every-other-year event.

But Mr Tu was happy to confirm that he has every anticipation that the festival will go ahead as normal this year and into the future.

He said he suspected the rumours reflected the fact that the new festival organising committee was slightly behind on planning for this year, but by only a couple of weeks – “nothing that wasn’t very easily catch-uppable.”

“We have got a new committee, and it is just a question of getting them on board. We are just a few weeks behind, but nothing very serious. We are hoping to get our website up to date this week and start on all the other things.”

Partly the delay was the change-over: “Last year’s festival could not have been more successful. We had a tremendous time, but only myself and the treasurer have stayed on from last year’s committee, and we are wanting the new committee to come up with new ideas.”

It was right to give the new committee time to think, he said.

Mr Tu said he suspected the rumours also reflected a tension over a certain aspect of the festival: the fact that the bands in the Jubilee Gardens during the late-August festival don’t get paid – and yet the performers appearing as part of the festival’s street theatre do get paid.

“I think some people might be thinking that there ought to be a level playing field, that it would be alright if no one got paid.”

It’s an area Mr Tu is keen to look at: “I am looking at trying to get some sort of budget to help some of these acts or maybe some sort of expenses. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we have been delayed.”

But Mr Tu confirmed again: there is every intention that the 2018 Arundel Festival will go ahead this year, along broadly similar lines to previous years.

He said he hoped that the Festival would be in a position to start making some announcements soon.