Knaresborough’s biggest ever Feva festival has drawn to a close with an estimated 2000 people enjoying the “Picnic in the Park”.
The largest event of the town’s annual arts festival took place in the grounds on Knaresborough House on Saturday, August 18.
Nigel Perry, a volunteer on the Feva committee said: “This year was our biggest so far with more events and more people attending.
“Everything leads up to the Picnic in the Park, and families and friends come with a picnic to enjoy the bands.
“We think that across the whole day we had about 2000 visitors, with up to 500 at any one time.”
The opening days of the festival competed against the Olympics for audiences, but after a slow start Feva’s ticket sales picked up.
“We were concerned about the Olympics and the weather but we have done very well despite those things and we are very pleased about that.
“Once Feva was under way people came out and booked pictures, and we were pleased with how it went,” Nigel added.
“All the ticket prices were the same as last year, or less, and none of the Feva events cost more than £12.”
Several of the events sold out, including tribute act The Fab Beatles, who played to a packed house at Knaresborough Working Men’s Club.
Beatles fan Helen Watkinson was delighted with their performance.
She said: “As a lifelong Beatles fan , though too young to have seen them live, I was a little nervous that a tribute band might be disappointing, but I was glad to be wrong!
“From the first chord, they had us up and dancing – well at least me and my mates at the front – and performed three longish sets of the three Beatles eras on the small WMC stage.”
The committee of volunteers who run Feva will soon be starting to plan for next year’s event.
They have appealed with people in Knaresborough to come forward with ideas for next year’s festival.
And with the bodies that help fund Feva through grants feeling the effects of the recession, the festival organisers are looking for other sources to make sure the arts event continues to grow.
Nigel said: “About half of our funding comes from grants and half from ticket sales, so we are concerned about next year.
The organisers are hoping to attract private funding from local businesses and to encourage more people to become Friends of Feva. It costs £10 per person for an annual membership, or £50 for a corporate membership, and gives access to early ticket sales for the festival’s events in 2013.