Cambridge Waits On Politicians

A reduced budget and fewer internationally known acts have hardly dented the crowd’s enthusiasm, but for the second year in a row, Cambridge Folk Festival is waiting to hear if it has any chance of clawing back the £645,000 it lost when Secure Ticket UK tanked at the end of last year.

Event marketing manager Neil Jones said at press time that the ticket figures haven’t been confirmed. The event frequently sells out its 10,000 capacity in advance, and – even in the worst of all worlds – it was unlikely to have fallen much short of a full house.

The question of the missing money has hung over Cambridge since insolvency practitioners Tenon Recovery began investigating the affairs of Secure Ticket UK.

Former City Council leader Ian Nimmo-Smith, a Liberal Democrat, said “all options are being looked at” regarding the recovery of the money. But the local authority was always going to have to weigh the likely cost of legal action against the chances of it being successful.

That may still be the case but Sian Read, another Liberal Democrat who replaced Nimmo-Smith as council leader immediately after the recent local elections, gave little away on a recent radio interview.

Appearing on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire July 21, she fielded questions on what the council was doing to recover the folk festival money and a further £9 million the local authority lost during the Icelandic bank crash.

She said she was confident much of the £9 million dropped in Iceland would be back in Cambridge’s coffers by the end of 2013, but then the interview moved on before she gave an update on the lost ticket money.

The acts ensuring Cambridge Folk Festival wasn’t silently waiting for news of its money July 30 to Aug. 1 included Natalie Merchant, Kris Kristofferson, Seasick Steve, Pink Martini, Seth Lakeman, Sharon Shannon & Imelda May, Show Of Hands and Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends.