Music extravaganza is axed

ONE of the region's major music festivals has been axed due to decreasing popularity.The Chelmsford Spectacular, which has been running for 15 years, has been scrapped by organisers Chelmsford Borough Council.

ONE of the region's major music festivals has been axed due to decreasing popularity.

The Chelmsford Spectacular, which has been running for 15 years, has been scrapped by organisers Chelmsford Borough Council.

The spectacular, which has seen the likes of Elaine Paige, Blue, the Sugababes and Michael Ball perform in recent years, will be replaced with a new three-year programme of events culminating in a two-week Chelmsford Festival.

Popular events such as streetdiversions , the unconventional free street-theatre event based in the town centre, will be expanded and new ideas will be added to the programme, including:


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nA free festival for children in Bell Meadow, Central Park.

nA new traditional Christmas event in addition to the Christmas lights switch-on.

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nA series of Summer Night Concerts on the rear lawn of Hylands House.

nA sound and light event at Hylands to celebrate the end of the restoration works.

nA two to three week festival planned for early summer 2007 will bring together elements of the 2005/6 programme into a borough wide celebration which galvanises Chelmsford in preparation for the World Scout Jamboree in July.

The new programme was agreed at Chelmsford Borough Council's cabinet earlier this week.

Councillors agreed the spectacular should go and it was time to take a new approach to community festivals in the town.

“The changes certainly won't mean a lack of fun for local residents,” said cabinet member for arts and entertainment Christopher Kingsley.

“We are hugely committed to delivering community events for the entertainment of residents and visitors,” said Mr Kingsley. “But times and tastes change and we must constantly review the quality and range of the events we provide.

“The proposed programme provides a refreshed and innovative approach that responds to major challenges and opportunities.

“The next three years will really put Chelmsford on the map as a major venue for special events. This is largely thanks to the expertise and talents of the council's special events team, who have really worked hard to design a programme that will bring more people to a wider variety of events in the borough.”

Councillors also felt that providing more town centre-based events will help reduce the physical impact on Hylands Park, which could be under pressure from other major events in 2005-7 and the current phase of restoration works.

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