Rox looks forward to its 25th festival

ROX organisers have pledged to make next year’s festival fitting for its 25th anniversary.

The backers and supporters of Bognor Regis’ free music and arts crowd-puller announced the dates for the silver jubilee of the crowd-puller.

C141029-1 Bog Nov29 Rox25  phot kate''Members of the Rox launched their new season with friends and supporters. Steve Goodheart, centre front, founder of the Rox with Jeremy Pardey from Butlins, left, and Clive Behagg Vice Chancellor of the University of Chichester.C141029-1 SUS-141117-173029001

C141029-1 Bog Nov29 Rox25 phot kate''Members of the Rox launched their new season with friends and supporters. Steve Goodheart, centre front, founder of the Rox with Jeremy Pardey from Butlins, left, and Clive Behagg Vice Chancellor of the University of Chichester.C141029-1 SUS-141117-173029001

It will take place next July 25 and 26, back in its usual seafront surroundings of the Royal Norfolk Hotel.

But Rox chairman and co-founder Steve Goodheart said help was always needed to the weekend as special as possible.

“Without the help of the volunteers, local councils and businesses we would never have got to where we are now,” he said. “I also know that without the support of the trustees, Rox would not be as strong as it is. So, the door is open to anyone who wants to get involved.”

It cost £55,000 to stage this year’s festival, he said. The cost rose to £120,000 when all the sponsorship and help was taken into account.

About 30 volunteers are involved with Rox all year. This rises to up to 90 at the festival weekend. “Their help is invaluable. Without them, it would not work,” he said.

Monday’s launch of the 2015 festival at the University of Chichester’s Bognor campus brought together some of its biggest supporters.

Professor Clive Behagg, the university’s vice chancellor, said: “It’s become an outreach organisation that creates opportunities for young people in Bognor.

“That’s a really important way of raising aspirations today.

“Rox is a wonderful organisation and they have had their headquarters on this campus for nearly five years.

“Everything they do emanates from the university.

“That says a lot about our partnership with them.”

Butlin’s Bognor resort director Jeremy Pardey said he would be prepared to continue to support Rox for years to come.

“The key for me is that Bognor and Butlin’s is one business as far as I am concerned,” he said.

“I need to engage the local community with Butlin’s. Rox is one way of doing that.

“That can be done through finance but it can also be through letting them use our equipment they don’t have.

“We’ve supplied those items for five years or so and we will continue to do so for the next five.”