After the party’s over, council expecting to count cost of festival
TOWN Hall chiefs are preparing a full financial report into last weekend’s Love Luton Festival to present to councillors at a meeting later this month.
It remains unclear whether Luton Borough Council will be left counting the cost of the weekend which featured concerts by boyband The Wanted and chart topper Olly Murs.
Last week reports suggested that the council could face a shortfall of £290,000 in costs for the festival, but an expenditure breakdown will not be seen by councillors until next Tuesday.
The festival saw the acts belt out their hits as revellers partied in the park and councillors and organisers enjoyed the concerts from a VIP circle at the front and a VIP bar paid for by event sponsors.
Many may have been put off by the weather forecast with neither concert selling out, despite Luton Borough Council’s decision to slash ticket prices in half back in June, and music marquees in Wardown Park largely deserted on Friday evening.
An estimated 3,000 fans turned out for Friday’s gig headlined by The Wanted, with a larger crowd present for Saturday’s concert featuring Olly Murs and Skepta among the headliners.
Thousands more fans enjoyed music, food and a plethora of entertainment in Wardown, Moor Park, Market Hill and St George’s Square on Saturday and Sunday.
Despite the conditions the council expect the muddied grass of Popes Meadow and Wardown Park, parts of which were badly cut up during the festival, to be green again within the month, weather permitting. The parks will be fully reopened after all equipment is removed.
Fortunately, an inspection for Green Flag status for Wardown Park had just been carried out before the festival.
The town showed its community spirit across the weekend, and there were no issues reported to Bedfordshire Police.
Council leader Councillor Hazel Simmons said: “We promised the most spectacular event in Luton’s history and that is exactly what we delivered.
“Luton has just enjoyed the best party it has ever had, the community has really come together to back the festival, and together we have put Luton on the map for all the right reasons.
“We are enormously grateful to everyone in the community who made this festival happen. The joy on people’s faces throughout the weekend made it worthwhile.”
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Weather for Luton
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North