Monday 18 December 2017

Waterford's fundraising hits bum note after €50,000 loss on gig gamble

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Waterford County Board are facing losses of up to €50,000 after a disastrous concert promotion over the weekend.

Hopes that 'Rhythmfest' in Dungarvan, which featured acts such a Bressie, the High Kings and Jedward, could generate sufficient funds to eat into mounting debts were dashed when an estimated 2,200 turned out over the two days.

The board executive met in emergency last night to discuss the fallout, with bills expected to be close to €50,000.

Only an estimated 500 turned up for the Saturday show, with just 1,700 on Sunday.

It is understood that reductions in costs have been negotiated with gardai and the civil defence, but significant losses are expected.

"Money is scarce -- we took a gamble and it didn't pay off," acknowledged Waterford chairman Tom Cunningham.

"On this occasion we hoped to run it on a break-even basis and set the trend for future years. But we did succeed in providing customer satisfaction."

Cunningham also rejected suggestions that last night's executive meeting was 'emergency' in its nature, explaining: "This is an officer board meeting that goes ahead on the first Monday of every month.

"'Rhythmfest' will probably be discussed but we won't know whether we broke even or whether we lost money.

"But they were brilliant concerts and the people that came really enjoyed them."

Waterford County Board ran a deficit of €120,000 last year and are thought to be trying to clear a debt of €210,000.

They are one of 11 counties who failed to keep expenditure below income and are now paying the price for that.

The Waterford football squad have been struggling in recent times to get expenses they are due but settlement has now been reached.

The Deise senior hurling team has also had its budget dramatically cut from recent years.

Irish Independent

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