Just as you thought it was safe


Rye Arts Festival sold around 4,500 tickets for 56 ticketed events at last year’s fortnight-long festival which included classical and contemporary music, literary talks, guided walks and the cinema – any and all of which can potentially go wrong.

Extremely expensive pianos for the concerts in St Mary’s church are probably already well insured, but even operas may be disrupted by falling flats (scenery) shaken free by a baritone blast – so risks are all around, and the public themselves may be the biggest problem.

The festival’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) next Sunday April 9 in the Rye Community Centre at 4pm will therefore be considering the implications of risk following an independent review of the charity’s governance started by the previous Chairman of the Trustees.

Members of the festival’s charity will be asked, requiring a two thirds majority, to support the charity being dissolved and replaced with a Charitable Incorporated Organisation as currently the festival has no separate legal identity, and therefore the trustees and members are not protected by limited liability. This means they are personally liable for dealings with third parties where the charity’s assets are insufficient.

And running a festival includes a wide range of risks such as the performers and their contracts, possible problems at venues, health and safety, data protection, legislation relating to public events – and the list goes on.

So, “with the ever increasing burden of regulation, the Trustees accept this recommendation” from the independent review, members have already been told. 

This year’s festival will take place September 16-30 and the reports and accounts, as well as other information, can be found at www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk. Other items  to be discussed at the AGM include future plans, the election of trustees and the report and accounts.

Photo: Rye News library

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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