By Connor Steel
ORGANISERS have confirmed that the 2023 version of Gosport Waterfront Festival has been cancelled later this summer; citing many ‘unnecessary and unsustainable charges’ imposed by the local council in their bids to use Walpole Park as its venue for the three day showcase previously planned to take place on July 28-30.
This announcement was made through social media late on Monday evening (March 27) and comes after a recent marketing campaign, which has seen hundreds of tickets purchased by residents over the last month. Guaranteed performances included those from Subsonic, East17 and Harddrive amongst well-known bands.
It is believed that the council have decided not to waiver the charges for using Walpole Park, located nearby Morrisons and the Town Centre, for this popular community event. According to organisers this was stated in an email sent to the organising team last Thursday (March 23), although the Globe can’t verify the full detail.
Faced with rising costs to hold the event and a requirement to keep tickets affordable for local residents, the festival was deemed not financially sustainable to run as scheduled and the decision was made to cancel its 2023 editions. Food, drink and entertainment providers have also been informed of this sudden cancellation.
This news signals a rare cancellation of the Waterfront Festival, which has been held annually since 1999 by a small team of volunteers. The only previous cancellations came during the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw restrictions on social gathering and entertainment related performances in a bid to control the infection rates.
One Globe reader gave their immediate reaction, saying: “I was looking forward to this popular festival and I had brought tickets to attend, therefore the news is a real shame. But at least they have given enough notice instead of leaving it late. Let’s just wait for a response from the council before people pass their judgements.”
Members of the Gosport Waterfront Festival Committee have apologised to everybody affected by this news and have pledged to refund those who have already purchased tickets for the event. Furthermore they have implied that future editions will not be at Walpole Park, saying they are searching to find an ‘alternate venue’.
PICTURED BY GOSPORT WATERFRONT FESTIVAL: Huge crowds pose for photo with two performers at recent edition of music festival, which has been a staple of Gosport summer activities for over twenty years.