Festival appeals for friends

A CALL has gone out for local people and businesses to get behind the region’s biggest free music festival, by becoming an official friend to help raise much-needed revenue.

Alnwick International Music Festival has relaunched its Friends of the Festival scheme, which provides benefits such as behind-the-scenes news, private performances and a special welcome event in return for a £10 a year donation.

The money will go towards the cost of hosting the 280 singers, dancers and musicians who are set to descend on the town in August for the eight-day extravaganza.

Chairman Alan Symmonds said: “Each Friend we have will enable us to feed one of our performers for one day, so we need lots of friends.

“I would like to thank those organisations and businesses who have already offered financial support.

“Their support is absolutely vital in enabling this event to take place, bringing colour, excitement and spectacular performances to Alnwick and adding to our town’s positive reputation as a great place to visit.

“We will shortly welcome around 280 singers, dancers and musicians from eight countries from across Europe, Turkey, Russia, Togo and India. The festival costs many thousands of pounds to run of course – our performers are paying their own way here, but we need to feed them!

“None of the organisers get paid – it’s all run by volunteers. Every penny we raise goes directly into delivering the performances.”

He added: “While appealing for support to cover Festival costs, we would also like to strengthen our relationship with local businesses.

“We have therefore decided to introduce opportunities to directly sponsor a half or full-day programme session in the Market Place, or Playhouse in the event of inclement weather. The cost for this ranges from £100 for a morning to £250 for a full day.

“In return, by way of thanks, we will promote your business with notices on stage and the Festival information stand, acknowledge your support in on-stage announcements, include your logo or photo prominently within our website and invite you to the Festival welcome event on Monday evening, August 1.”

He added: “If you think that the Festival is good for Alnwick, I hope that we can count on your support, not only to cover this year’s costs but to plan future festivals.”

To find out more, visit www.alnwickmusicfestival.com