Three day music festival set to bring ‘major benefits’ to Diss
A new music festival may be making its home in Diss after the town council gave organisers the go ahead.
Organisers want to make Gig in the Park a three-day music event in Diss Park later this year.
The annual music festival is the brainchild of WoW Festival organiser Geoffrey Dixon, and Big Gig and Maui Waui events organiser Silas Rayner.
The festival is set to run from July 27 to 29 and potentially attract 2,000 attendees.
It will begin on the Friday with an evening of music from local musicians, with the main festival on the Saturday and Sunday.
All music will be amplified throughout and the festival fenced off.
To have a music festival like the Big Gig in Halesworth will be a significant advancement for Diss
Two stages are planned, playing host to a mix of local, regional and headline acts.
There will also be a children’s area, a bar, stalls and workshops, and local food concessions.
Mr Dixon presented the proposals for the music festival to a meeting of the town council at Diss Corn Hall on Wednesday, January 17.
Following the presentation and questions from councillors, Gig in the Park was given the go ahead to allow for more in depth plans to be drawn up.
After the meeting, Mr Dixon told the Diss Express: “We feel enormously positive, and I think it will be a major benefit to Diss.
“Diss has had a significant development in social capital from the Corn Hall itself and from investments in the Heritage Triangle.
“So, to have a music festival like the Big Gig in Halesworth will be a significant advancement for Diss.”
The outline case for the festival states the event will secure the town as “a place where good things happen” and will be a “step forward in the development of social capital” in Diss.
Mr Dixon added: “We have done an economic impact study for Diss based on the Wow Festival, looking at the people we brought in and the average expenditure you’d expect – it was a lot of money.
“It is about bringing economic impact, so we need to get a bit further in our calculations in order to make our estimates more accurate.”
Some councillors at the meeting questioned the organisation of the festival and the noise it may produce.
Mr Rayner, who has ran the Big Gig in Halesworth for the last five years and joined Mr Dixon at the council meeting presentation, said he would seek to resolve any concerns about the impact of the festival.
He said: “They are all concerns that have been raised at other festivals we have done, so we are confident we can meet some of those concerns and turn them into a positive for the town.
“To bring what we have done in Halesworth to somewhere new, like Diss, is a great and exciting thing to do.”
Mr Rayner said festivals brought more economic activity to the towns they were based in.
“The high street in Halesworth on the Sunday of Big Gig looks like a Saturday,” he said. “The shops are open, the pubs and cafes are full – it’s a whole day added to the working week.”
Mr Dixon added: “We’re coming together to provide a weekend musical extravaganza for families and young people in Diss.”