Budleigh Salterton Food and Drink Festival cancelled

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 August 2018

Budleigh Food and Drink Festival. Ref exb 0192-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Budleigh Food and Drink Festival. Ref exb 0192-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

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A festival which transforms Budleigh Salterton into a 'foodie' paradise has been cancelled, it has been announced

Rising insurance costs and the ‘administrative and legal burden’ on organisers has forced them call off the town’s biennial food and drink festival which attracts thousands to the town.

Festival manager Trudie Burne has told the Journal that a ‘small group’ of Budleigh traders who organise it could never really ‘afford’ to dedicate as much time and effort as they do.

She also said the current business model of the free festival has become ‘unsustainable’, adding: “Each fundraising event and the main festival takes a huge amount of time to organise.

“The 2017 festival alone absorbed more than 3,000 hours by the volunteer team as a whole.

“As the big event draws closer each year, it commands all of the main committee’s attention and as a group we regretfully cannot afford to spend that amount of time away from our primary businesses anymore, it simply isn’t sustainable.

“We know the town will be saddened by this cancellation, but hopefully Budleigh, with all its many other festivals, will continue to thrive.”

The festival, launched in 2013, has been a highlight of the Budleigh calendar, taking place every two years. Next year’s event was due to be the fourth of its kind.

At last year’s festival, more than 7,500 people attended with some 70 food producers and artisan stalls promoting West Country-based food and drink.

Mrs Burne said: “We are, of course, very disappointed and sad not to be going ahead with the Budleigh Food and Drink Festival in 2019. Despite year-on-year increases in its popularity, we have not been able to achieve the level of financial stability to make the festival viable.”

While the festival itself is being called off, fundraisers planned for later this year will still take place as ‘stand alone’ events.

The Bier Wurst and Bands event, hosted by Budleigh Food and Drink, will take place at the Public Hall on Saturday, October 13, while the Winter Feast – co-hosted by Budleigh Lions Club, will happen at Peter Hall on Saturday, November 10.

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