Maidstone River Festival cancelled

A festival has closed after being told it would be charged huge fees for police to man the event

A popular festival has been forced to close after bureaucracy meant it would now have to pay huge fees for police to man the event.

In what would have been its 29th year organisers of the Maidstone River Festival have had to cancel this year’s event following a directive that means police must now charge for attending public events, as of April.

The voluntary committee that organises the event has been advised than an event such as this would warrant a £43,453.94 fee – a staggering figure that also includes a hefty £6,471.86 VAT. However, as it is classed as a ‘Community Event’ the River Festival would be granted a 50% discount, which is still a crippling £21,726.97 for the organisers to find.

David Knight, chairman of the festival said, “The committee is faced with a huge moral dilemma. If it cannot raise the additional money there will be no River Festival. If it can raise the extra money, should it not be putting that money to better use?”

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