Uproar as popular local vintage festival is cancelled due to council red tape!
Richard Godsell were due to sponsor this fantastic local event, due to be held on the 29th and 30th June 2019. A celebration of all things vintage, including; fashion, transport, dancing and music that is sadly cancelled due to due to council stipulations and rising costs to accommodate such demands.
Director Stuart Mason commented “It’s a real shame for the area. People come to Southbourne because of the vibrant High street and if we can’t hold events like this in the future it will damage its appeal. ”
A letter from the Directors: The Shake and Stir Vintage Music Festival
It is with deep regret we must inform everyone that 2019’s Shake and Stir Festival in Southbourne, planned for June 29-30th, is postponed. This is a situation we have fought hard to avoid but unfortunately, new stipulations administered to us alongside added expenses have made this year's event no longer viable.
We feel it’s important to be transparent about what caused this year’s cancellation, and as such, will expand on the reasons below. Equally important to note is that the Shake and Stir Festival will return in 2020!
As documented by the Daily Echo in March this year Bournemouth Council applied for and were granted, a premises licence to host outdoor events in Southbourne Grove. This was heavily opposed by Dorset Police who believed the application "fails to recognise the responsibility that is attached to offering alcohol for sale" - Louise Busfield, Licencing Enforcement Officer.
For our festival, the premises licence’s approval put us central between the two fiercely opposed forces of Bournemouth Council and Dorset Police. As such, the demands upon us as event organisers have dramatically increased - both in volume, detail and cost.
Examples of this include;
• The Council dictating positions of stages and equipment without any risk-based fact, which is not in keeping with the best performance and use of the Southbourne Grove space.
• The Council insisting on more security personnel, virtually doubling previous years security expenses.
• The Council demanding that we have a dedicated person to control all alcohol on site, with very high expectations at another considerable cost.
Whilst we have offered many solutions to requirements asked of us, including the removal of all alcohol sales in the Grove on festival grounds - overcoming these issues to the Council and Police’s satisfaction, has proven near impossible.
In addition to greater demands from Bournemouth Council and Dorset Police, we’ve also been prohibited financially. Last year’s festival, for example, cost over £35,000 to run... and events in the Grove alone cost £19k.
In the past, we have been supported by the Coastal Bid who along with event sponsors, traders and at festival activities, have covered the costs of this festival. Writing this on April 23rd 2019 we have still yet to receive
written confirmation of financial support from the BID, who typically account for just under half of the Grove’s financing.
In 2016 the festival won Bronze in the Dorset Tourism Awards, progressing to Silver in 2017. In 2018 we were finalists for the Great Day Out Awards as part of the Bournemouth and Poole (BAPTAS) Tourism Awards, and today we are recognised as the largest local community event by Bournemouth Tourism.
This year was lining up to be our best to date, with new additions including the official Miss Pinup UK Awards finals, incredible music from the likes of headliner Earl Jackson, a charity classic motorcycle ride supporting the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and a vintage bicycle ride out - along with various quality traders that give our vintage festival it’s unique atmosphere.
Despite all this, expensive controls applied to the event, insufficient financial support and reduced investment from legacy sponsors have forced our hands, and as such have resulted in today's cancellation.
Shake and Stir will return in future months and years but at a different venue where it will be more cost effective and less restrictive.
We’re sorry to everyone who has invested time and support in this year's festival and offer our deepest apologies to stall holders, musicians, sponsors and loyal followers.
Please know we did everything within our power to avoid this scenario - this decision was not made lightly.