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Gig in the Park organiser Geoff Dixon teams up with Oaksmere Hotel in Brome

The man behind Gig in the Park, which had to be cancelled this year, has announced the event could come back – but in a different format.

Geoff Dixon pulled the plug on the 2019 music festival after Diss Town Council proposed charging him £2,500 to hire Diss Park for three days, with the possibility of it rising to £5,000 for subsequent years.

The council has since clarified its rates and now intends to charge £500 per day for commercial use of the whole site, £250 for half the park and £125 for a quarter.

Alan Sabol, Business Development Manager at The Oaksmere, and Geoff Dixon will be working alongside each other. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Alan Sabol, Business Development Manager at The Oaksmere, and Geoff Dixon will be working alongside each other. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Mr Dixon welcomed the U-turn but said Gig in the Park would not return to Diss Park.

“It’s one of those things,” said Mr Dixon. “Had Diss Town Council sorted this out at the start of the year, as they said they would, it’s quite likely that Gig in the Park would’ve taken place again.

“We were never going to stand still and, therefore, we have explored other opportunities.”

Mr Dixon has now joined forces with The Oaksmere Hotel in Brome and is looking into organising a festival similar to Gig in the Park, as well as a series of other events.

Fraser Duffin, owner of the Oaksmere, also owns a music promotion business, Crosstown Concerts, which is based in London and Bristol and works with acts nationwide from Noel Gallagher and Nick Cave to Snow Patrol and Lana del Rey in venues from the O2 and Wembley to pub venues.

“There’s much that we do at Crosstown Concerts that we want to bring to the Oaksmere, which, when combined with Geoff’s vast knowledge of the best regional and local talent and suppliers, will deliver a quality and variety of live music seldom seen in this part of the country,” said Mr Duffin.

“I was in the audience at Gig in the Park, so I know that he understands about delivering quality events.”

The first collaboration are two Hallowe’en-focussed events on November 2, with one taking place during the day and one during the evening.

The fancy dress events will feature musical entertainment, UV face painting, carved pumpkin awards, fire performers and much more.

For tickets to Day of the Dead, go online to www.seetickets.com.

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Sharing more good news, Mr Dixon said: “It is also quite likely that we will be hosting Unity again next year and we are also in discussions about having other events, but it’s too early to talk about them.”

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