Thursday, February 03, 2011

Africa Oi, Pay

Some sad news from Liverpool, where the increasing success of the free Africa Oyé festival means it can be free no longer. The Echo explains:

Up to 50,000 people attended the weekend last year and now the Oyé has been told health and safety issues means it will need a licence to run the 2011 event.

With security, fencing, toilet facilities and box office staff as well as bringing together top bands from Africa and the Caribbean, it means it could cost around £100,000 to put on this year’s festival.
Last year's festival put £1.3million into the Merseyside economy; if we weren't living in an age of economic illiteracy, you might expect central or local government to chip in to cover costs in order to bring that much cash in. Instead, this year, numbers attending will be less than half, so the boost for the local economy is going to be much smaller. A pity.

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