Saturday, 3 October 2009

Council spoil Food Festival

This is just the second year we have held a food festival in the town, but trust Darlington's Labour Council to cause considerable anger amongst the stall-holders and traders, who themselves paid very high prices for their stalls, by adding a £3 entry fee at the gate. Many people have simply turned away. Why pay £3 to just look at food stalls? And with cookery programmes on every channel every day, why would people want to pay this money to see a "celebrity" chef I haven't heard of make some food on a gas burner?

Last year it was fun, exciting and had a real buzz as people packed in. This year the bean counters have taken over and spoilt the show. Don't expect any criticism to appear in the Town Crier though. As usual the Council will lie about the number of stalls and the visitors, just as they do with their Continental and Speciality Markets where they routinely claim 300 stalls when actually there are less than 100.

What they don't realise is that people aren't fools. The good people of Darlington won't pay good money for something like this and they won't believe the Council's hype about it either.


Aeres said...

Have to admit that my family were amongst the people who turned back. Decided that the £9 would be better spent on a nice lunch at the Mexican cafe on Skinnergate.

No regrets neither. Can't really see the point in paying to have the privilege of spending my own money.

Darlington Councillor said...

Shame - you missed a great event, Aeres.

I've posted some video on my site (as well as a critique of Mike's post).

Aeres said...

In fairness we'd have probably paid it if it wasn't for the fact that we were only going to stay in town for an hour or so and therefore lunch seemed the better option.

I guess the argument is a bit like the current one about paying for online news. People baulk at paying anything when they're used to having it for free. That said, it seemed busy enough on the Wallis-cam so maybe I'm wrong.

My wife, however, has reminded me that I did pay £10 per person to get into a food festival at Thorpe Farm a few months ago - I guess the difference being that it just seemed more like an all day event to take the kids to whereas the Darlington one did just look like a marquee in the market square.