Festival is to end because of cash crisis

Launch of the 24th Ribchester Music Festival at St Wildrid's Church, Ribchester.'Pictured are Carol Milne Director of Ribchester Music Festival, The Mayor of Ribble Valley Councillor Michael Ranson, Flutist Kathryn Williams, The Mayoress of Ribble Valley Janette Ranson and Tim Rainford Chairman of The Directors of Ribchester Music Festival at St Wilfrid's Church.'20th March 2015

Launch of the 24th Ribchester Music Festival at St Wildrid's Church, Ribchester.'Pictured are Carol Milne Director of Ribchester Music Festival, The Mayor of Ribble Valley Councillor Michael Ranson, Flutist Kathryn Williams, The Mayoress of Ribble Valley Janette Ranson and Tim Rainford Chairman of The Directors of Ribchester Music Festival at St Wilfrid's Church.'20th March 2015

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Music fans were left disappointed when it was announced that this year’s Ribchester Music Festival will be the last.

Chairman Tim Rainford gave the announcement at last Friday’s launch concert, at St Wilfrid’s Church.

He said that, while this year’s event in June is the biggest and most varied in recent years, with 16 events in eight different venues, it will also be the final one.

Mr Rainford said financial pressures meant the directors were unwilling to commit to a 2016 festival.

He said: “This is the 23rd year of bringing excellent music to Ribchester for people to enjoy.

“As a non-profit charitable organisation, we have relied on corporate and local government sponsorship, ticket sales, and donations from Friends of the Festival for it to survive.

“As both sponsorships and ticket sales have declined in recent years, and the costs of staging the festival have increased, despite using talented student performers from the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, it means that, after this year the festival will not be financially viable.

“Whilst we are saddened by this decision, and it will be a disappointment to many of our loyal supporters, we feel we want to go out on a high and make this is as memorable a festival as any that we have had in the previous 22 years, so we have put together an exciting array of events, with more music, venues and choice than ever before.”