New cost fears for Sidmouth Carnival

PUBLISHED: 13:20 29 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:09 18 June 2010

NEW Sidmouth Carnival organiser Rob Waller says he is looking forward to this year s event but fears extra costs may compromise the tradition. Mr Waller, who has also been organising Exmouth Carnival for 20 years, is worried that new licensing charges fro

NEW Sidmouth Carnival organiser Rob Waller says he is looking forward to this year's event but fears extra costs may compromise the tradition.

Mr Waller, who has also been organising Exmouth Carnival for 20 years, is worried that new licensing charges from the Performing Rights Society will result in some carnival clubs going into the red.

He told the Herald: "Preparations are going well but like all carnivals, Sidmouth is suffering as there are a lot of new charges we haven't had to deal with in the past."

All carnival clubs will have to pay for the PRS licence but as of yet Mr Waller does not know exactly how much each club will be charged.

He added: "It will be a lot and it obviously affects our costs. All carnivals face this difficulty and I hope we come out of it."

Although the carnival has lost a couple of floats, Mr Waller says other clubs have stepped into replace them and this year more than 30 floats will take part in the Sidmouth procession, which takes place on Saturday, September 26.

Mr Waller said he has big shoes to fill after Stuart Hughes announced in July he was stepping down from the organiser's post after 18 years.

But he has assured stalwart Sidmouth Carnival-goers that the traditional event will be very much in line with previous years.

Mr Waller said: I'm talking to Stuart all the time and I see him three or four times a week. I'm not going to change Sidmouth- I'm continuing what Sidmouth is good at.

"I've been doing Exmouth Carnival for such a long time I'm sure it will work out, although it's still a challenge."

Mr Waller also praised members of the various carnival clubs who contribute so much to the event.

He added: "Without the support of these people you don't have a carnival. They put so much time and energy into it and they never make enough money to cover their costs-they do it because they enjoy it."

All entry forms for this year's carnival can be obtained from Mr Waller on (01395) 276463 and he assured people if they leave a message he will get back to them.


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