Festival’s finale due
to Alan’s poor health

Fylde Folk Festival underway at The Mount Hotel, Fleetwood. Co-organisers Stu and Rusty Wright.
Fylde Folk Festival underway at The Mount Hotel, Fleetwood. Co-organisers Stu and Rusty Wright.
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The curtain will come down on a traditional music festival this year – after the organiser was told by doctors he should stop running the show.

Plans for an alternative Fylde Folk Festival are being discussed by committee members, but next month’s 42nd weekend of music is set to be the last.

Doctors have told Alan Bell, who also performs at the Fleetwood spectacle, he cannot continue to work the long hours needed to run the festival, and is closing down the company behind it.

The 79-year-old said: “It’s not a happy time for me, but it’s unfortunate because I’ve been suffering bouts of ill health, and on medical advice I’ve been told to bring my hours down.

“The simplistic way is to close the company down, but a group of enthusiasts are thinking about setting up a new festival.

“People ask me why I don’t just get someone to carry it on, but it’s not as simple as that and there are a lot of financial and technical reasons why the company needs to close down.”

This year’s festival runs from August 29 to 31 and will see folk bands from across the country perform in the town’s pubs and hotels.

In 2006, a tourism board survey found the weekend of events brought more than £100,000 to Fleetwood’s economy – a sum which will be ultimately lost if a replacement cannot be found.

Mr Bell added: “I’m terribly sad about the whole thing and reluctant to take this course of action.

“But when you get medical experts telling you to do this, you have to listen.

“In the 42 years we have had some amazing people perform and people who have gone on to be
superstars like Kate Rusby and Mike Harding.”

Fleetwood’s North Euston Hotel plays host to bands throughout the weekend, and will suffer if the show does not go on.

Stephen Dale, manager, said: “Lots of things are taken away from Fleetwood and not put back, and this would be a massive loss.

“I’ve worked with Alan Bell for years and he came in to tell me what’s happening, and I just hope someone takes over and we can do our best to support them.

“The tourism in Fleetwood is bad.

“And this is another loss for the town if it doesn’t continue after this year.”