Nik Butler: Remove bureaucracy from events which enrich our community

Nik Butler's latest column
Nik Butler's latest column
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September soon arrives and with it the festival of food and drink.

Though sadly we are without the stages and musicians crowding our streets.

The news that the organisers of The Festival of Sound had lost a major sponsor comes at a time when Horsham could do with more music on its streets.

Whilst Rockin the Park does look promising my hope is that some of the energy, enthusiasm and sounds will spill onto the street in much the same way as the Festival of Sound had.

Rockin the Park will be played out under the shadow of Denne Hill and no doubt the evening stroll for many in Horsham will be a moment of nostalgia for teenage loitering between the bridge and St Mary’s graveyard.

I can think of no part of Horsham that has changed so little yet given so many memories for those of us who have lived here in those far too many decades.

Later in the month the Horsham Beer Festival returns to the Drill Hall and given so many tickets have sold out months before there is no doubt that this will be another great weekend.

Meanwhile running throughout the month is the local Food and Drink Festival one event for which annually I feel a sense ennui.

Every year it feels to me that events not run by ‘the department of requiring people to know they are having fun’ appear more genuine, more from the heart than others.

September for me has come to represent a time of Music and Drink presented by volunteers and enthusiasts who want to share their passions with a community; and then there is that other thing the council does that might be in the Carfax at the weekend.

With all the constant rhetoric of lack of funds, lack of investment and lack of monies in the public sector is it finally time to completely hand the reins of entertainment over to the public.

Remove some bureaucratic constraints and in place of investing money in advertising posters and directories for businesses the council could provide the administration and management facilities to help event organisers to deliver music, beer, food, theatrical, art or game festivals.

Horsham town provides the perfect stage for events and entertainment but for it to succeed we need is a council that works more as a stage manager and less as a writer, director and producer.