Traders back festival plans
Traders affected by the financial shortfall which followed last year’s Galtres Parklands Festival are backing arrangements for the 2015 event.
Stall-holders are being invited back to trade in cash rent-free, and organisers have pledged that the proceeds from other areas of the festival business will be channelled directly to those still owed money from last year.
"As one of the traders affected, I was initially angry about the situation,” wrote Francois Strydom (pictured) of Helmsley-based caterer the Fat Chef Company today in an open letter to news media.
“But I have since come to realise that the best way for me to get my money back, and for the festival to prosper again, is to work with the organisers and to help them rebuild. So I’ve decided to take my catering business back this year, and am pleased to see that many more are doing likewise."
Mr Strydom continued: "I’ve also agreed to take on the role of ‘independent trader liaison’. This means I’ll be positioned between the organisers and the traders, ensuring all of the arrangements lead to the traders get the best possible deal. One particular responsibility involves channeling all proceeds from festival trading directly to those businesses still owed funds from last year."
Other returning traders include The Delicious Food Company (Easingwold), Sloe Motion (Barton le Willows), The Great Yorkshire Brewery (Cropton), The Hop Studio (Elvington) and Lincs2Nepal, a charity caterer raising funds for a school for orphans.
“It’s great that so many locally-based traders and suppliers will be working with us again,” said festival director James Houston. "It’s been a tough six months for them and for the festival, but we believe that by cooperating and collaborating our fortunes will change for the better. We’re determined to keep on working as hard as we can until everyone is repaid, and then our Foundation will be able to resume its charitable programmes. We are grateful to Francois and to all the others who have stood by us."
Mr Strydom added: "I know some of my colleagues will find this is difficult pill to swallow, given what happened, but I’m convinced that the organisers are genuine in their commitment to see everyone repaid, and also that the best way for them to achieve that is for us all to work together.
"If those opposing the event have any success, they will only be depriving me and other trader businesses of the funds we need. I say join us - together we can turn this deserving festival around.”