THIS year’s Rox festival in Bognor Regis has been cancelled.
Organisers said they had scrapped the event, due to held on July 23 and 24, because of a lack of cash.
As reported, they had agreed a deal with the Sir Richard Hotham Project development team to meet the shortfall in their £45,000 budget. But, even if planning permission for the scheme was granted, the money would have been released too slowly to enable the major music and arts event to get underway.
Rox marketing director Robin Parker said the cancellation had been a difficult decision to make.
“We’ve tried some fundraising initiatives recently and we’re exceptionally grateful to all those that pledged or contributed to the cause.
“However, we owe all our regular traders the chance to secure new pitches at other events as it’s the most important time of the year for them to earn a living.
“Funding currently falls short of our target and we cannot risk anyone’s livelihood on a ‘possibility’ that we’ll have the funding in place in time,” he said.
The annual festival celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. It has only been cancelled once as it became established as the UK’s largest free festival of its kind.
About 35,000 people attend annually. Up to seven stages are typically used along a half mile stretch of the seafront to allow more than 100 acts a year to play.
Recent years have seen Rox based on the Royal Norfolk Hotel’s front lawn and the seafront opposite.
“We would also like to thank Lucasz Jans and Leisureplex Hotels from the Royal Norfolk Hotel for standing by us in this difficult year,” said Mr Parker. “But they too are in business to make a profit and need enough time to re-book their rooms.”
He said an alternative plan was being put together to keep Bognor buzzing that weekend with live music and DJs.
“Rather than trying to find the money to cover what we want to do, we’ll simply have to change tactics and put something on that will be covered by the funds we already have.”
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