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Deans festival cancelled over lack of volunteers
A popular festival bringing together three village communities did not go ahead this year because of a lack of volunteers.
The Deans Festival, which attracts thousands of residents every year, was absent from its usual spot in the social calendar last weekend.
Organisers hope the festival’s absence from the grounds of Woodingdean Primary will inspire more people to come forward to get involved to revive the festival next year.
The community event, which was founded in 2009 and won an Argus Achievement Award in 2012, brings together schools in Woodingdean, Ovingdean and Rottingdean.
Deans Festival committee chairwoman Sarah Cox said that a new board for the festival came in this year to replace several long-standing parents whose children were now growing older.
She said the difficult decision not to hold the popular event was taken just after Easter.
She added: “We started on the planning process but there wasn’t enough people to do the event in the same way it had been done previously.
“Rather than going ahead with something that perhaps people might not be happy with, we decided we would have a down year.
“We reached the point at Easter where we would have to start paying deposits so instead we will have enough funds to go ahead with something the following year.
“Hopefully, people will see that it’s not here this year and will want to get involved in making it happen next year.”
Former Deans Festival committee chairwoman Alix Macfarlane said: “I handed over the committee chair last year and unfortunately the new committee did not feel they had enough of the infrastructure in place to go ahead with it this year.
“It is such a big event but hopefully it will run again next year.
“And we still have other things going between the schools this year, with a torch run for the Commonwealth Games.”
Woodingdean ward councillor Dee Simson said: “I had heard that it was a little short on helpers this year.
“It’s a big thing to put in place so you do need a lot of helpers.
“It’s a different community event to things like the carnival because all the local schools come together and get involved.
“It is a really nice day and hopefully this won’t be the end of it, hopefully it is just a hiccup this year.”
To volunteer to help at next |year’s event email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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