Anonymous backer rescues 'final' Torbay poetry festival after it loses Arts Council funding
An anonymous backer has come to the rescue of Torbay poetry festival – and allowed it to stage one more festival this year after losing its Arts Council funding. Its festival organisers say on its website:
“All good things have to come to an end, and we at the Torbay Poetry Festival Committee felt the end had come when our application for Arts Council funding was refused. Over the past 18 years the Arts Council has funded our festival, enabling us to have grown from three days to the five-day celebrations we have held latterly. Many have described Torbay as the friendliest festival in Britain, and we thank the Arts Council for enabling us to achieve this enviable accolade progressively over the years.
“Many of our regulars were disappointed when we announced we were calling it a day, to the extent that one anonymous patron has now matched the lost Arts Council grant pound for pound that we may continue for one last glorious year! This, with pledges from many other Festival enthusiasts, has enabled us to present our final festival this October. Thank you for your overwhelming support.”
Those appearing at the festival over the years have included Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Brian Patten, Roger McGough, Wendy Cope, Danny Abse, Ken Smith, UA Fanthorpe, Rosie Bailey, Penelope Shuttle and Elaine Feinstein. The organisers say: “Over the years we have always been open to introducing some lesser-known names to our audiences, and in this, our Farewell Festival will be no different.”
This year’s festival, from 18-20 October and based at the Livermead Cliff hotel in Torquay, will be headlined by Imtiaz Dharker. More details
Earlier this year the Poetry Business, a poetry publisher and writer development agency that includes the Smith|Doorstop imprint and literary magazine The North was forced to launch a Crowdfunder appeal to bridge a £14,000 gap after losing a bid for Arts Council funding. It passed that target within a few days. It had previously been supported by the Arts Council both financially and in other ways, since the business was founded over 30 years ago.