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Now that business group Stratford BID have abandoned the River Festival, the Herald is spearheading a campaign to save it for the future

IT’S official – there will be no River Festival or Festival of Motoring in Stratford this year.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Stratford BID, the organisation that represents businesses in the town, finally admitted that it will not be running the festivals in 2023. No decision has yet been taken regarding Stratford Food Festival in the autumn.

However, the River Festival – last held in 2019 – was exceptionally popular with the public and there is a growing momentum for the event to be revived as soon as possible.

Stratford River Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson. (63356522)
Stratford River Festival. Photo: Mark Williamson. (63356522)

One artist who took part in the festival – Spesh Maloney, composer and singer with the gypsy folk band Scratchy Beard – told the Herald yesterday: “A lot of festivals have high ticket prices, but Stratford River Festival was free, and open to all – families, local people and tourists.

“People could just walk through the town and cross the river on to the recreation ground and enjoy it without having to pay.

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