A decision to make this year’s Melton Show and Festival free to enter has received a big thumbs-up from townspeople.
The organisers say they want to try to bring the event back to its ‘community roots’, as well as attracting more people by making it free entry.
There will be less focus on the more costly big acts and greater emphasis put on getting the local community more involved.
This year’s event will be held on Play Close Park on May 24 and 25, open from 10am to 6pm on both days.
The organisers’ decision comes after more than 600 people joined a Facebook group last year to give their views on how they felt the new version of the show compared with the old Melton Show/Melton Day. Many people said they wanted to see the event go back to its community roots.
The old Melton Show came to an end in February 2013 after its former organisers, Gill West and Derek Whitehouse, who were aided by a handful of dedicated volunteers, called it a day after 30 years.
In 2013 brothers Ashley and William Wood, trading as A&W Events Ltd, announced they were putting together a new two-day event rising from its ashes.
William said: “By making it free entry I think we’ll get bigger attendances, making the stallholders and fairground operators happier, and it will be a more successful show.
“We need to get the right balance. I think people would be happier if we can make it a less commercial more community event. We’ll still have a craft marquee, fairground, stalls, arena acts to be confirmed and a music stage and we want to try to get some local bands to play.”
The news this year’s show will be free entry has been welcomed by people who have given their reaction on Facebook.
Jody May Frisby wrote: “Excellent and about time too! We Meltonians have been asking for it to be free again for years! Well chuffed.”
Kel Bexon posted: “About time. Loved it back in the good old days.”
Juliet Edwards said: “Well done! Finally show organisers have realised that by making it free entry, not only will they get more through the gate, but people will spend more on the trade stands. Seriously impressed at this decision.”
The organisers want to hear from any local bands who would like to perform at this year’s show. Anyone interested in taking part can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the stage manager on 07411 420522.
Any interested stallholders can email email@example.com
For more information visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MeltonShowAndFestival2014