The Lake District Summer Music Festival will run in 2014, its 30th year, despite reports referring to a £150,000 shortfall in its funding.
The festival, founded in 1985 by artistic director Renna Kellaway, will ‘cut its coat according to its cloth’ and is acting to dispel any ‘erroneous impression’ that a recent BBC Cumbria story might have given, either that it could not meet its current financial obligations or that the festival might be in any danger of not happening.
‘We don’t go blindly ahead ‒ if we have to have a smaller, shorter festival, so be it ‒ but we will be there and we will do our very best to make sure that it provides what festival audiences have come to expect: that they have distinctive events with and international quality.’
The £150,000 figure referred to prospective funding which the festival is indeed yet to secure, but was based on running a festival of similar scale in 2014 ‒ something which organisers say they would not do without securing the necessary funding.
‘You can be very inventive and also very selective in how you go about it, and we are keenly aware of and responsibilities for funding which has already been raised,’ said Kellaway.
This year’s festival lasted a fortnight, running from 3 to 17 August. Performers included the Henchel Chilingirian quartets, Ex Cathedra, Fretwork with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, Trio di Parma and the Manchester Camerata. The festival also runs the concurrent Summer Music Academy and Young String Venture.
Two seasons since the festival lost out on regular Arts Council England funding, Kellaway is confident that the festival has a bright long-term future, based on its ability to attract sponsorship and other private funding and to secure funds from trusts and foundations.
‘We do know that in this current economic climate, which is shockingly depleting support for the arts, we have a very hard path to tread like all other arts organisations in this country,’ said Kellaway.
‘Obviously kindred arts organisations are in this situation and we don’t need to cry out the word “crisis” at every possible lamppost. We get on and try to improve the situation in the most responsible and best possible way.’