The grass on the Green is still a little worn but all other signs of Fen Edge Festival 2017 have disappeared. Once again, we enjoyed a memorable weekend of music, food and activities.
The Festival represents all that is good about village life – a spirited and dedicated group of people coming together to deliver this very special event. Consequently, there are a lot of people to thank.
The Festival Organising Committee was a great team that combined practical and creative skills to create a full programme over four days. There were a number of highlights for me – the Beach Café concept was a great success and Simon Bye and Simon Heath took the Venue to a new level of sophistication.
I would also like to recognise all the groups and organisations – most of them Fen Edge Community Association (FECA) members – who put on activities and demonstrations. We now have 50 FECA members and a large number of them were involved through the weekend. Also, huge thanks to the volunteers who helped with the stewarding and set up. The event ran smoothly and safely and that is wholly due to the work and commitment of the volunteers. Without volunteers, there is simply no event. Thank you all.
We received invaluable financial support from sponsors. These businesses and organisations recognise the relationship between the community and their businesses and deserve special credit. Particular thanks go to Cottenham Parish Council and the team there who not only sponsored the event but also enabled us to use the Village Green and ensured it was perfectly prepared. Thanks also to Cottenham Village College which also allowed us to use its grounds and facilities. Our sponsors were Malary, Durman Stearn, Giuseppe Piran, Voland Roofing, Cambridge Glassblowing, BV Services, Lynx Autocare, S.H. Harradine, The Curry Palace, Amey Cespa, Aviva, Steve Davies Creative, Screens & Graphics, Travis Perkins, Haart, Tesco, Dentons Carpets, Fellows Brewery, B&C Motors, Cambridge Building Society and Polarglaze. Thanks to all of them.
So, what is it all for? One primary purpose is to celebrate village life and showcase all that goes on in our area. It is also to have fun and we try our very best to make the weekend affordable, particularly for young families. We use the financial support to ensure that the main events are free (like the evening concerts, junior disco and children’s entertainment) or subsidised (like the mini golf and the helter-skelter). We insisted that the cost of other rides for children were kept low. The whole event costs well over £20,000 to put on when one includes the cost of marquees, hire of facilities, insurance, security services, first aid services and the entertainment. Our aim is to make a small surplus (if everything like the weather works in our favour) and this is then ploughed back into the community.
The main beneficiaries of this year’s Festival will be Ladybird pre-school, Firs House and Telegraph Street Patient Participation Group, Willingham Youth Trust and Landbeach Tithe Barn Trust. All FECA members are able to apply for grants for their organisations and we actively seek to encourage their work. We will provide full accounts of the Festival on the FECA website and in the next issue of the Fen Edge News.
So finally, thanks to all of you who attended. It is your Festival and you that make it all worthwhile. If you enjoyed it, please consider getting involved for the next event. If you didn’t enjoy it, please get involved to help us make it better! Please contact me if you are interested in helping with the Festival or FECA.
Roll on 2019!
Neil Gough, Chair, Fen Edge Community Association and Chair, Festival Committee.