THE VALE of Glamorgan Council has explained why it felt it had no choice but to scrap funding for the popular Cadstock music festival.

When we spoke to the organising committee, they explained they had until the middle of May at the latest to get the event up and running, or it would be cancelled for the first time in 11 years. 

However, requiring £15,000 by then, and, with tightening budgets from the festival’s biggest supporter – the Vale of Glamorgan Council – they explained it was unlikely the event would go ahead this year.

Cadstock goes from 200 to 5,000

Cllr Mark Wilson has made an impassioned defence of the council after fingers were pointed at the local authority for not supporting the event.

Cllr Wilson, cabinet member for neighbourhood and building services, described what has happened to Cadstock since it started and explained how it was being funded.

“The first Cadstock event was held in 2010 with three bands playing on a Saturday afternoon and less than 200 attendees,” said Cllr Wilson.

“In 2022 there were 12 bands over two days and an estimated 5000 attendees.

“The Vale of Glamorgan Council has supported the event each year, both financially and with considerable resources from our Parks and then Neighbourhood Services department. 

“As the size of the event grew so did the running costs.

“The 2022 event cost £14,200. £11,200 of this was met by the council. This cost does not take account of the staffing, set-up, take down and waste collection provided by our Neighbourhood Services team. 

“In 2019 the organising group were informed that due to the rising costs and increased budget pressures it was very unlikely that the council would be able to continue to support the event financially, although help with staffing, waste disposal, and professional services would continue.

“This resulted in the organisers arranging a Cadstock benefit gig at the Barry Island Sports and Social Club where a number for local bands played for free raising over £2,000 towards the 2022 Cadstock event. 

 Barry And District News: p

The council said they simply don't have the money for Cadstock as the music festival grew and grew

Council needed to make £7.4m of savings

Plans to make Cadstock more sustainable included trying to find a sponsor, turning it into a one-day event, or holding every few years.

Cllr Wilson said it was a difficult decision to cancel the event this year.

“We understand the organisers would need at least £10,000 to make this year’s event viable,” said Cllr Wilson.

“It was a difficult decision to take, but, with savings of £7.4 million needing to be found this year, it simply is not possible to continue to cover such a large part of the costs.”

The love of the community

Organisers described Cadstock as a "beautiful monster they cannot feed any more", and thanked the community for the love they had shown for the event.

“We are a victim of our own success and with success comes extreme cost,” said the organising committee.

“Cadstock is a beautiful monster we cannot keep feeding any more.

“When we started we literally had 50 people come, now we have thousands attending.”

Cllr Wilson added to this, saying the council was always in support of Cadstock.

“If there is a way to make a festival for this year financially viable then the council will offer all additional support in terms of manpower and professional services that it can,” said Cllr Wilson. 

“The response from the community since the announcement of the cancellation has shown just how valued the event is. We are already working with the Keep Cadstock Alive group to help them access grant funding available to voluntary groups and will provide in-kind support – such as the services of our Neighbourhood Services team – for any future event wherever possible.”