Musicians won't be singing in the rain after Stourbridge arts fest organisers scrap outdoor event

SMARTFest spokesman Paul Jenkins - buy photo: 301235L

SMARTFest spokesman Paul Jenkins - buy photo: 301235L Buy this photo

First published in News

ARTS fans are being urged to show their support for a three-day music, drama and poetry festival which has been hit by the worst summer weather for years.

The team behind SMARTFest - due to be held at venues in and around Stourbridge from August 10 to 12 - have had to pull the plug on a day of outdoor activities planned to take place in Mary Stevens Park on Saturday August 11.

Fears that summer has decided to boycott Britain this year and a resulting lack of sponsorship has forced SMARTFest organisers to scrap activities such as the kid’s zone, arts and craft zone and fun fair which were planned for the park.

While Saturday’s music line-up has been moved to Stourbridge Town Hall - although a final decision on whether all of the scheduled acts will play is still to be taken.

SMARTFest spokesman Mark Williams said: “Ongoing weather problems were affecting all aspects of the Saturday event, both in terms of organisation and finance.

“Sponsors and traders were reluctant to commit due to the uncertainty of the Mary Stevens Park event going ahead.

“The Friday and Sunday programme is still going ahead as planned and we have the full backing of Dudley Arts Council, which considers SMARTFest the biggest thing to hit Dudley borough in decades.”

The rest of the free festival, which aims to showcase the best of the arts in the Black Country, remains unaffected.

On Friday August 10, an art trail and poetry slam will go ahead in The Ryemarket where presenters from 102.5 The ‘Bridge will be broadcasting.

Saturday August 11 will now see an afternoon and evening showcase of the best borough bands, and some national names, at Stourbridge Town Hall; and Sunday August 12 will culminate with a variety show at the same venue.

Organisers say despite the difficulties faced in bringing the inaugural festival to fruition they are confident it will prove a big hit with arts fans in the area.

Comments (1)

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11:20am Wed 18 Jul 12

kingswinfordman says...

Its a great shame that the weather has forced this cancellation as I know that the organisers have put a great deal of effort into this event. I just hope that they aren't too disheartened and will try again next year.

The remaining functions are a great opportunity to support local talent and I will certainly try to attend at least one of them
Its a great shame that the weather has forced this cancellation as I know that the organisers have put a great deal of effort into this event. I just hope that they aren't too disheartened and will try again next year. The remaining functions are a great opportunity to support local talent and I will certainly try to attend at least one of them kingswinfordman
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