Gatley Festival 2024 Statement

Dear Gatley Residents, surrounding areas and all Gatley Festival attendees.
The Gatley Festival Committee regret to inform you that there will be no event in 2024.
Barring Covid (and maybe the War Years) we believe that this could be the first time in 100 years that Gatley has not had a Festival of some sort.
Over the years the local community has celebrated this day in various formats but always at the heart of it has been the community groups, the parents, the children, the schools, the dance troupes, the sports clubs and the businesses that make up this wonderful village that we live in.
As a collective we have made no secret of the fact that the future of the festival (in its current form or any form) was in jeopardy, if we were not able to recruit more people to join the committee / or help out with the main organisation.
In reality, the committee consists of 8 people, volunteers, who have full time employment commitments and families. We are not paid to organise this event.
We are often asked why we charge for entry to the Festival and why is it not free. The Festival costs upwards of GBP 15,000 a year to put on.
Costs have risen substantially and last year the team worked incredibly hard to get the best value for money from our suppliers in order to keep the ticket costs down. We wanted to ensure that the first year post Covid and the 100th year was something to remember.
Where else can you come along for a family day out, support local businesses, celebrate local community groups and listen to some great live music – for only £2.50 a ticket (and children are free)!
It is important to note that similar events and festivals in other areas ( which may be free ) are often partially or fully funded by the local council or the committees fundraise constantly throughout the year to raise the running costs. We have received funds from the council in the past but not enough to run the event .
We rely on programme sales and the sponsorship of our local businesses. In latter years, if any ‘profit’ was made then funds went back into the community. Last year we were able to support some local groups and this year we have had the ability to make some small grants – but please be aware no ‘profit’ was made in 2022 or 2023.
Last year we reached out and asked for help to run the 2023 Festival and not one person turned up to the AGM.
This year we have appealed to the people of Gatley and wider afield to get involved and help secure a Festival for 2024.
Sadly – despite publicising on social media, word of mouth and via posters in the village – only 1 person stepped forward.
Maybe the current format doesn’t appeal any more ? Maybe you have some alternative fund raising ideas ? Maybe there are things you would love to be included? Are you a local organisation that would like to get more involved ? Nothing is off the table if you have the desire to get involved…..
The bigger the organisation the lighter the work . You don’t have to sit on the main committee or attend meetings .
We have had no choice but to ‘rest’ the Festival for 2024 and we plan to revisit in June / July next year with a view to guaging interest in putting together an event in 2025.
If you would like to know more , have any suggestions for future events or think you can help out please email us
Sincerely yours.
The Gatley Festival Committee