Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Organisers 'could cancel' Isle of Wight Festival

Festival goers watch Busted on the main stage Image copyright PA
Image caption The festival organisers pay £55,000 a year to hire Seaclose Park in Newport

The organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival have threatened to cancel the event in 2017 unless fee changes are agreed, the council has said.

The island council says Solo Promoters Ltd has asked the authority to waive its hire fee for part of the venue.

A council report says: "There is a real risk that unless Solo can reduce its costs and or increase ticket sales that the event may be cancelled."

The council is considering reducing its fee by £42,000.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Queen and Adam Lambert were one of the headline acts in 2016
Image copyright Isle of Wight festival 2016
Image caption The council said the festival generated about £10m a year for the Isle of Wight economy

The authority said an increase in the number of major festivals had led to falling tickets sales at most established events, with some being cancelled.

It said: "Solo has made it clear that unless costs can be reduced the event may not be viable to stage in 2017."

Solo currently pays £55,000 a year for the hire of Seaclose Park in Newport.

A council meeting on 13 October will consider reducing the fee to £13,000 in exchange for giving Solo more responsibility for security and other duties.

The authority said the cost of the duties was £42,000, equivalent in value to the fee reduction.

The revised terms would not apply if ticket sales exceeded 45,000, excluding day tickets.

The report added that Solo had been unwilling to provide its detailed accounts for the event for "reasons of commercial confidentiality".

The Isle of Wight Festival, which was re-established in 2002, is thought to generate about £10m a year for the local economy, the council said.

Solo Promoters Ltd has been approached for comment.

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