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Entrance fee plan for Basingstoke Live
MUSIC fans may be charged to attend Basingstoke Live when it is held next year.
On Tuesday, the borough council’s community wellbeing committee will consider a report saying that this year’s two-day festival on July 13 and 14 left the council £27,000 out of pocket.
It says one option to make up the shortfall is to charge up to £5 for tickets to Basingstoke Live, a live music event in War Memorial Park, which this year featured a variety of acts including The Selecter.
The festival began in 2007 as a free, unfenced event and the report, prepared by officers, says each year attendance figures doubled until 2011 when an estimated 40,000 people attended throughout the weekend.
It says that in 2011 the event experienced “unprecedented levels of antisocial behaviour” and in response changes were made to fence off the site to allow security staff to check for alcohol, drugs, glass and prohibited items.
However, this cost an extra £27,000, which in 2012 was met from savings from other budgets.
The report says: “This was a one-off allocation meaning that continuing with Basingstoke Live in 2013 would leave a budget deficit of £27,000.”
In November last year, a furore erupted when it was recommended that the festival should no longer be organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and that the resources allocated to it be transferred to Basingstoke Festival – which co-ordinates and promotes a month long programme of arts events throughout July, culminating in Basingstoke Live.
However, a petition was presented to the council on December 13 to keep Basingstoke Live, and the event went ahead this year.
A breakdown of the costs in the report shows that the marquees cost £10,500, crowd management and security cost £35,000, fencing cost £6,600, policing cost £2,500, first aid cost £1,900 and toilets, £4,600.
The entertainment fees tot up to £23,000, including £10,700 for various artists and £7,500 to the Drum Runners for organisation.
The report presents on-site survey research carried out by De Montfort University.
It showed that in 2012, when attendance was lower because of poor weather, Basingstoke Live benefited the local economy by somewhere between £139,000 and £285,000.
In 2013, with good weather, these figures increased to between £247,000 and £584,000.
The borough council’s Cabinet is proposing to allocate £27,000 for Basingstoke Live in the ‘medium term financial strategy’ for 2014-15 which will be considered in October.
Last month, Council Leader Cllr Clive Sanders said he had asked officers to make provision for Basingstoke Live in 2014, but refused to comply with a Labour councillor’s request to put money aside before a budget was set.
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