Promoter’s anger as Houghton Feast event scrapped

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PROMOTERS have hit out after a popular part of the Houghton Feast event was cancelled.

The Craft Fair, which was due to take place last Saturday at Kepier school, was pulled – despite it being advertised in the official brochure for the 10-day festival, organised by Sunderland Live.

And in a further blow, Quintet Promotions, which puts on the craft fair, has been told an event in November at the Seaburn Centre has also been scrapped.

Quintet Promotions owner Helen Irvine said: “This is not the school’s fault, we understand that, but we didn’t choose to cancel the event.

“We have lots of stall-holders who follow our fairs all over. It’s income for us and income for some of them too that we are missing out on.”

Mrs Irvine says she signed a contract with Sunderland City Council to put on craft fairs at the Seaburn Centre, only to be told she was double booked with the Peregrine Print Rally.

A spokeswoman for Sunderland Live said: “After being made aware the venue was not available for the Houghton Feast Craft Fair, every effort was made to find a suitable alternative within the timeframe for the event.

“Unfortunately, that proved not to be possible, resulting in the cancellation of the craft fair.”

Speaking about the cancellation of the fair at the Seaburn Centre, Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for culture, said: “It is very rare that we have to cancel one event in favour of another but we do reserve this right and everyone making block-bookings is made aware of this.”

“Unfortunately due to the nature and timing of the events in question the decision was made to notify the organiser of Quintet Promotions’ Craft Fair that we were unable to accommodate them on the weekend of 28-30 November.

“We appreciate that this will cause the craft organisers some inconvenience however we must look at the wider picture and take into consideration the considerably more benefits in both revenue and recognition that the Peregrine Print Rally will bring to the city.”