Organisers of the Broadstairs Food Festival have launched a fundraiser in a bid to ensure the event’s survival next year.
The food festival team had two events lined up for 2020 – the Spring fair which had to be cancelled and the 12th autumn festival which will need to be hugely scaled back if it goes ahead. The plans for this year had also included an extended Children’s Play Marquee, a Gin House and twice as many taste workshops.
The ban on the gathering of large groups to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus meant the cancellation of the Easter food festival. The team is currently working on plans for a much-revised October event, with a lesser number of stalls to allow safe distancing.
However, the funding that would have secured the 2021 events has taken a huge hit. Some 40% of the festival finances come from business sponsorship, workshop ticket sales and at-the-event donations in PopAPound buckets.
Most is met through traders pitch fees – capped at a level that enables independent producers to exhibit. National corporates, even though they may have more funds, are not catered for as the aim is to upport Kent and its producers.
Without full-sized festivals being staged this income will not happen, leaving core costs – tax, insurance, professional and legal fees – in jeopardy.
Organisers have also been unable to apply for Covid-related grants as the CIC does not have a business premises so does not qualify for Small Business support.
Organiser Jo Scott said: “Our major stumbling block is finance. The festival is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, operating on a not-for-profit basis, with slim reserves.
“Over the years we have consistently attracted around 25,000 people into the area for the October event, bringing a much-needed end of season boost to B&Bs, hotels, bars and cafes.
“We’d love to continue doing so in 2021 and beyond, but we need help to get there. That is why we have set up a GoFundMe appeal to help us get through this difficult year
“If only half of all our visitors gave us the price of a cup of coffee and a cake – or a pint of beer – we’d be sure of returning in 2021, 2022 – and beyond. Every pound is valuable!”
The team have now set up the campaign to raise the funds for next year.