Gig organiser tells council: No more delays and high fees or event axed

PUBLISHED: 12:20 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 14 December 2018

Geoffrey Dixon, in Dragon Hall, Norwich. Picture: Keiron Tovell

Geoffrey Dixon, in Dragon Hall, Norwich. Picture: Keiron Tovell

The organiser of a popular music festival appealed to his local council for more support, claiming it’s success was being hampered by a lack of support.

Diss Gig in the Park. PHOTO:  Marc BettsDiss Gig in the Park. PHOTO: Marc Betts

Diss Gig in the Park organiser Geoffrey Dixon told town councillors they had inhibited his business due to their suggested park use fee of £2,500, rising to £5,000 in the future.

His plea proved to be a success as councillors voted for the £2,500 fee for use of the park in 2019, but amended the original proposal to increase it in the future. The council committed to reviewing fees for park use for all events by the end of the financial year.

Mr Dixon told Wednesday’s meeting: “While the event is going nowhere, the chance of it happening would be diminished with the high price.

“Running a socially inclusive festival in a small town is tough.

Geoffrey Dixon with his marketing firm Vivid Interface.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYGeoffrey Dixon with his marketing firm Vivid Interface. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

“If you do vote for the proposal, we take that result away and consider whether we will take this event on.”

He claimed that when Gig in the Park debuted in July this year it suffered financial losses and noise complaints, but was overwhelmingly popular with residents.

Mr Dixon added: “We cannot be in the same position in 2019, just 212 days away from opening the gates and still not know if this event will happen. We are being hampered financially, artistically disadvantaged by the inability to negotiate, to market the event. We cannot approach bands, we cannot approach sponsors, and our reputation is actually being damaged by our inability to commit to anything.”

Town mayor Trevor Wenman said: “It seems to me that you are saying the whole thing depends on how much the fee is. We, the council, have agreed that Gig in the Park go ahead next year. Any decision not to do it will not be ours it will be the decision of the organiser.

“£5,000 was not a figure we plucked out of the air, it was a figure the action group came up with having calculated the amount of space and time that the park will be unavailable for the general public.”

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