New Essex music festival planned

PLANS for a week-long festival of music in Colchester have been announced.

Roddy Ashworth

PLANS for a week-long festival of music in Colchester have been announced.

Former borough councillor Don Quinn, a director of events management company Snake In The Grass, said he wanted to mount a programme of shows and performances that could eventually become an annual fixture in the town's calendar.

But he added that as the council was currently facing a financial shortfall in the wake of the recession, it was unrealistic to expect it to fund the festival.

Instead, he said his company would be prepared to co-ordinate a programme for free and urged local musicians and performers to come forward.

Mr Quinn's firm has already mounted a number of successful large-scale events in the town, including the Oyster Fayre, the Christmas Festival and the summer Castle Park music events.

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“We want to do this one for the town” Mr Quinn said.

“It's time the town made its own fun. There is no money in any council pot so we just have to do it ourselves.

“It's no good sitting around worrying about the economy, we have the local talent, we have superb pubs, clubs and restaurants - let's add a new dimension and boost the town.

“While the council has no money it has resources and they should be used to benefit local people.”

He added: “Part of the strategy which we have discussed with the police is to get people more confident about being in town of an evening.

“The more decent people we have in the town enjoying themselves the safer the streets become.

“Let's reclaim our High Street and town centre for decent people by providing places to go things to see and enjoy for everyone.”

Mr Quinn said he would like to see the festival tie-in with the annual Colchester Oyster Feast, a traditional ticket-only civic event held in the town hall every October.

But no date has yet been set for this year's festival.

He added: “If we can make a success of a town centre festival this year it would be marvellous if it would grow into a major annual festival to put Colchester on the national fun scene. It is from little acorns that big oak trees grow,” he said.

“Colchester is alive with talent, some terrific musicians are available locally and they need the chance to perform in public.

“We are currently talking to local business groups and individuals who will be able to help put the idea into practice.”

Performers or anyone prepared to help or add ideas is asked to contact Mr Quinn via the website