Published: 13/11/2017 13:00 - Updated: 10/11/2017 11:23

Not a pound pledged to help city music festival

Written byNicole Webber


Jean Slater
Jean Slater, chairwoman of Inverness Festival Association, at their pop up shop in the Victorian Market.

A FUNDRAISING campaign launched to raise £8000 to keep the Inverness Music Festival at Eden Court is struggling to get off the ground.

So far no money has been pledged on an online Justgiving page a month after it was launched to raise funds for the event and to help organisers afford the venue.

Next year’s festival will run from February 24 until March 7, 2018 but the event relies heavily on donations from the Inverness Common Good Fund.

Jean Slater, chairwoman of the festival, hopes that people will give generously to the cause.

"We use Eden Court because it gives the youngsters a fantastic setting to perform in," she said.

"The theatre give us a fantastic discount and they are tremendously good to us but it still costs more than £13000 just to hire the venue – that does not include the cost of hiring adjudicators."

Overall, it takes around £15,000 to stage the festival each year and the money made from entry fees, membership fees and festival sponsorships does not stretch far enough.

Ms Slater added: "Without funding from the Inverness Common Good Fund we just couldn’t do it and as a charity we need to be raising more funds ourselves to make the festival even better."

In the run up to the Inverness Music Festival’s 100th birthday in 2022 the festival association will be making changes.

"We have been working with Inverness Online to update and make our website more user friendly," Ms Slater said.

"By 2019 we should be able to do most things online – cutting the cost of having a printed syllabus.

"Music in particular is so important to young people and it would be amazing to open out the event to different categories such as modern and Highland dance."

They are currently looking at different ways of raising funds and volunteers are working hard to raise the profile of the festival.

As well as doing something special for the centenary of the festival they would like to look at further ways of developing it for the future.

Ms Slater added: "Moving forward we would like to be less reliant on the Inverness Common Good Fund and we cannot take for granted that we will still receive the same discount from Eden Court."

The Festival Association has been present in Victorian Market at a pop-up shop all this week and will remain there until Saturday.

It has been selling ties, scarves, brooches, key rings, pencils, rulers, mugs and clocks all with a music theme and volunteer festival organisers have been on-hand to answer questions and hand out forms for people to sponsor either a class or a group of classes.

There is also an option for corporate sponsorship and the music syllabus is available online or in the shop – it features all of the available categories and extensive information about the competition including performance lengths and musical choices.

The Inverness Music Festival is a competitive event open to all ages and abilities, performers are adjudicated and the winners are chosen.

The closing date for entries is November 20.

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