Lichfield Arts, the organisers of Lichfield’s Fuse festival, have announced that the event will be taking a year off in 2015 but that it will return in 2016.
The free community Arts festival, which features 3 days of music, arts, workshops, family and children’s events, is run mainly by volunteers and normally takes place each July in Beacon Park.
Lichfield Arts have said that the break is due to the following factors.
Fuse coordinator: Vital to the running of a safe and successful Fuse is having a person in place to be responsible for its delivery. Following an internal reorganisation the Lichfield Arts’ management team is currently working to recruit a new Fuse coordinator willing to work on a mainly voluntary basis who has the enthusiasm, skills and experience necessary to lead the planning and running of the festival. A suitable candidate has yet to emerge and time is now getting short to prepare for the event.
Funding uncertainties: Admission to Fuse is free for all, but the event costs over £30,000 to put on and Lichfield Arts has to raise this from grants, sponsorship, donations and other revenue. Each year this becomes more and more difficult, with this year being particularly challenging given uncertainties regarding the organisation’s future funding from grants.
Volunteers: Fuse is reliant on a very large team of volunteers. All the planning and preparation needed means the event is now a major year round task. Lichfield Arts’ management team believes that, after running Fuse continuously for 14 years, it is time to give the hardworking Fuse volunteers a well deserved break.
The Fuse festival taking a year off is not unique. Other festivals, notably Glastonbury, regularly take a year off to maintain their standards and vitality. Lichfield Arts’ intention is to regenerate and revitalise the event for 2016 with a key aim of making it an even more family friendly and exciting event for all the community.
In the meantime, as well as planning for the return of Fuse in 2016, the organisation will be working throughout 2015 to develop a year round programme of community outreach projects; continue its usual programme of concerts at Lichfield Guildhall; stage the Lichfield Festival of Folk; present a new Blues, Jazz and community festival in the city centre in June and continue to be involved in other community events in Lichfield.
Lichfield Arts realises that many Lichfield residents and visitors will be disappointed, but we can confirm that we have every intention of presenting a revitalised, reinvigorated Fuse in 2016.
Lichfield Arts president Brian Pretty said,
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“A number of factors have come together which mean we feel it is sensible to give Fuse a rest in 2015, but we will use the time this gives us to come back in 2016 with a revitalised, reinvigorated festival for all to enjoy”