EXCLUSIVE: Organiser pulls plug on Gig in the Park 2019
The organiser of Gig in the Park says the event will not be going ahead in 2019.
Geoff Dixon told the Diss Express: "It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to not proceed with Gig in the Park in 2019.
"We have been unable to reach what we would consider to be a reasonable accommodation with Diss Town Council and their delay in providing us with assurances that the event will be able to continue into 2020 and beyond means it does not make sense for us to invest in Diss today.
"I think that some Diss town councillors do not understand the requirement for sustainability when considering the application of investment for an event like this.
"Many were supportive but at the same time extremely conservative, and would just not provide us with the comfort we require to ensure that investment today will contribute to returns in 2020.
"We owe it to our contractors, caterers and musicians to stop this process now so they can find other events to work with, rather than wait for Diss Town Council to announce in March or April the terms for using the park in the future, and if they would allow the event to take place in 2020 and beyond.
"The last meeting was a challenge, and I remember that as I left the meeting one attendee said to me, "I can’t believe how badly you and Gig in the Park have been treated. And I did not feel able to contradict him".
Diss Town Council, said in statement this afternoon: ""The Town Council is very disappointed to hear today that Mr Dixon has decided to cancel this year's Gig in the Park.
"This is very surprising given that the council gave the go-ahead in December, and the organisers have in the meantime submitted a license application to the licensing authority, South Norfolk Council.
"The first the council heard it was not going ahead was a brief email from Mr Dixon this morning.
"Mr Dixon states that he has been unable to reach a reasonable accommodation with the town council.
"It is a mystery to the Council what additional accommodation Mr Dixon may be seeking as we have had no formal contact with him since the December full council meeting.
"Mr Dixon suggests he needs a multi-year commitment from the council to stage the event, before embarking on Gig in the Park 2019.
"This is reasonable and was in fact inferred by council in discussions with the organiser regarding fees.
"If this was indeed a crucial consideration for the event, it would have been valuable to stress this to the council during the meetings that were held.
"Diss town council is and has always been very positive towards Gig in the Park.
"The council is disappointed that Mr Dixon has changed his mind about staging the event in 2019 and would be delighted to consider a written proposal covering a fully worked up plan to make Gig in the Park 2020 a success, both for the town and Mr Dixon’s organisation.
"We look forward to seeing his proposals.”