Bingley Music Live Might Not Return In 2019

A recent report into Bradford Council’s 2018/19 budget revealed that “higher costs” had led to a £300,000 overspend last year.

Councillors have been given more details about how last year’s Bingley Music Live festival went £300,000 over budget.

But it still remains unclear what the fate of this coming Summer’s festival is.

A recent report into Bradford Council’s 2018/19 budget revealed that “higher costs” had led to a £300,000 overspend on Bingley Music Live last year, when it was headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Jake Bugg and Shed Seven.

The report had blamed “higher costs” for the overspend.

And last week the Telegraph & Argus revealed that the Council had not yet made a decision on whether the festival would run in 2019, despite the fact that much of the 2018 line up had already been announced by this time last year.

The Council’s Corporate Scrutiny Committee were discussing the previous year’s budget at a meeting on Thursday night.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) asked why there was such a large overspend on the festival in 2018.

Phil Barker, Assistant. Director for Sport and Culture said there was a number of reasons for the overspend. He said it was a good event that delivered a large audience and helped boost local business. But he added: “In 2018 ticket sales were less then expected.

“When ticket sales are down, concessions sales are down. Not having the expected ticket sales has a knock on impact.”

He said that although weekend tickets sold well, day ticket sales were more sluggish. He added: “Normally the day tickets sell much faster. When we advertised that weekend tickets were selling out, it didn’t affect the day ticket sales as much as we expected.”

Mr Barker said the Council had left it late to book acts, adding: “Some bands were no longer available and those that were picked had a higher price than we had budgeted for.”

The lateness also impacted the infrastructure for the festival, with Mr Barker adding: “We left it late in the day, and there is only so much capacity in the market for stages, lighting rigs etc, so we were hiring these at a premium and more than we budgeted for.

“We do have a process to look at what we got wrong and how we can improve on that in future. The financial position is being reviewed at the moment. When this is completed a decision will be made.”

Cllr Sunderland said: “Has there been a decision whether it will go ahead this year or not?”

Mr Barker replied: “We have a range of options.”

Cllr Sunderland replied: “Given a lot of the issues you talked about were around late procurement and things not being available, are we not at the point where we will now struggle to recover?”

Mr Barker replied: “We have a number of options, some are taking the festival forward. We have to consider the time frame we are operating in.”

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