OPINION: Festival failures

Nik Butler


Personally I am not a huge fan of Facebook; however we cannot ignore the impact it, by way of the Internet, has on our community.

When Horsham’s most popular group (facebook.com/horsham.uk) cross posted from the equally popular, though private group, ‘Memories Of Horsham’ video and images from the Horsham Carnival back in the 80s nostalgia was sure to be kindled.

Questions are always asked as to why we cannot revive the Festival. Reasons are given, excuses are made and sometimes fingers are pointed and then someone loses a cat or is missing a dog and suddenly all is forgotten.

If social media is to be blamed for shortening attention spans it is only because pets are a fickle property. That the Horsham group on Facebook is unquestionably popular with over 20 thousand likes and still growing it still appears to be held apart from Horsham life.

There was a plan at 10 thousand Likes to co-ordinate some form of meetup and celebration; that plan never came to fruition.

When the group crossed the 20 thousand Likes little mention was made of that plan and it seems unlikely that it will occur in the future. If one group supported by thousands of contributors find themselves unsupported in acknowledgement of their community how much less can we expect support to bring back a carnival that clearly has support of the community.

The online community are not alone in the struggle to create public events. The history of our towns events planning calendar has been littered with efforts of other organisers to bring entertainment to our community and all have struggled with hurdles placed before them. Just as one might question why it is certain shops have a hard time finding their first retail property one begins to ask if Horsham’s community calendar is being controlled by a small group who are directing efforts which promote their values and opportunities.

Whilst there may be a choice in property agents willing to let retail space the tenant is still held hostage to the stock available to each agent.

The same cannot be said for those wishing to organise public events. From floats to sports festivals there is only one council through which aims can be communicated.

I for one hope we see a Carnival of Floats if only that they can display the past dreams and future plans of Horsham.

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