Walsall music festival set to see thousands of extra visitors

An annual summer music festival in Walsall will be open to thousands of extra visitors this year, it has been confirmed.

Walsall music festival set to see thousands of extra visitors

The Bands On The Beacon is one of the borough's most popular events and is increasing its capacity from 3,000 to 5,000 people.

It comes after it recently emerged the event will run across a weekend, rather than one day this June, with charges introduced for the first time in its five year history.

The event is expected to cost £25,000 with members of the Barr Beacon Trust already committed to contributing a fifth of the costs.

The rest is due to come from the likes of sponsorship and ticket sales but the trust will underwrite any unmet costs.

The event on Barr Beacon near Pheasey is scheduled for June 27 and 28 and there will be a £4 charge for adults and 'kids for a quid' introduced.

More than a dozen acts have been confirmed with up and coming performers also getting the chance to take to the stage.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, chairman of the Barr Beacon Trust management committee, said: "As a result of crowd control measures introduced at last year's event, health and safety officers have advised that the capacity can be increased to 5,000 visitors per day.

"A cost of approximately £25,000 has been identified to deliver the event and the committee has agreed to contribute £5,000 from the Barr Beacon Trust, with the rest being covered by donations, ticket sales, sponsorship, advertising and concessions.

"Given the high profile of the event, the committee has agreed for the Trust to underwrite any unmet costs.

"Although it is considered that this is unlikely to be needed, the treasurer to the Trust has advised that to minimise the risk of the event not meeting its costs, the committee should be involved in the preparations for the event at all stages to ensure that the income potential is maximised.

"This role will be actively undertaken by the task group and reported to the committee."

Charges come after £440,000 Heritage Lottery Funding ran out.

The money allowed the council to restore the war memorial after it had been targeted by metal thieves and also stipulated it should stage events to attract more people to the site, such as Bands On The Beacon. A rededication service for the memorial last autumn.

Councillors are also looking to revive plans for the refurbishment of Barr Beacon lodge and create a visitor centre. A £20,000 scheme is being planned by Walsall Council at the landmark site, subject to securing external funding.

It is part of the proposed capital programme for 2015/16 and comes after a failed bid for funding more than seven years ago.

Plans for a visitor centre were part of a larger £2.3m project in Beacon Road as part of the Black Country Urban Park application.

It came second in the ITV People's Millions competition meaning those plans were shelved.

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