‘It’s business as usual’ - that was the message today from the artistic director at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, following reports that the flagship arts organisation for the East of England was in trouble.

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A report on BBC Radio Norfolk this morning speculated on the future of the festival, after an anonymous caller rang to say that workers were being made redundant and queried whether the festival would be able to continue.

Speaking to the Evening News/EDP, William Galinsky, Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s artistic director, would not confirm or deny whether the festival was in financial difficulties or if any redundancies had been made.

But he said: “It’s business as usual. The festival is able to continue. We are a £3.5m turnover business.

“We are well under way in our preparations for next year’s festival and for the years after it. Our resources need to be used in the most effective and efficient way.

“Our programme each year is different and the resources needed depend on that programme.”

Afterwards, Mr Galinsky said in a statement issued by the festival: “In the current economic climate it is crucial that any business is flexible.

“Every year at this time we review our current and future needs relative to the planned artistic programme for the following year.

“As well as producing this year’s May festival, we have led on the London 2012 Festival in the East of England really putting the region on the map culturally.

“Over 80,000 saw or took part in a festival event this year and preparations are well under way for a fantastic festival in 2013.”

The festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and the generous support of sponsors and donors.

A spokesman for the Arts Council England said: “Arts Council England is working closely with local authority stakeholders and Norfolk and Norwich Festival in this challenging economic climate to devise a sustainable way forward for this important national festival.”

The festival is also being backed by Norwich Theatre Royal.

Spokesman John Bultitude said: “The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a major part of the county’s cultural life and has brought many exciting and innovative productions and events to Norfolk, as well as making a key contribution to the local economy.

“We will continue to work closely with the festival, offering as much help and support as we can.”

As reported, this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival celebrated a record number of ticket sales and sell-out performances – 75 performances were sold out and tickets sales increased by 15pc on the previous year, from 26,000 to 30,000.

5 comments

  • So Mr. Galinsky refuses to deny that redundancies have been made and that the festival is in financial difficulties. That's as good as a confirmation as such. I, for one, will not be sad to see the festival go, with its attempts to turn Norwich into another Cambridge. Given that the events are mainly aimed at Londoners and other such patrons of high culture, what does the festival actually provide for the average citizen of this county?

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    James Laughlin

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

  • It used to be a Trienial Festival,and much better the the latter offerings

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

  • And before anybody suggests otherwise... No, I don't work for the Festival.

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    justsaying

    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • Drop the "Norfolk" and make it a Norwich festival with local talent, simples.

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    Marigold

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

  • I didn't think it was right that these three massively poorly informed, snide comments, born of ignorance, and inverted and actual snobbery should be left to stand without reposte. The Norfolk & Norwich Festival is an event that the people of the county and city should be massively proud of. As Albert Cooper alludes to, this is a festival with a history spanning nearly three centuries. It is an event that is packed with high quality and diverse performances and artists from all over the world. Marigold suggests making it just a local festival for local people. Idiocy. And lose something like £10million into the local economy (supporting local restaurants, bars, hotels, shops... that's no including the number of people employed directly by the Festival). The Fringe Festival always used to do local side very well. And a Fringe needs an International Festival to complement it and to needle. Albert suggests making it the dull, staid, fusty old festival that it once was, the preserve of a dying, conservative audience (as Nimmo once said, you could've written the brochure on the back of your hand. All it would need to say was string quartet, some old church, 7.30). And let's bring back hanging too, eh Albert? Imagine you'd rather there weren't so many immigrants around as well. I know your type. And what are you suggesting James? That the people of Norfolk don't deserve the same chance to see amazing shows as other parts of the country? Who are you to say what the average person likes or doesn't? And anyway, life and art isn't about the average. Its about the extraordinary. What a twunt.

    Report this comment

    justsaying

    Friday, September 7, 2012

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